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243 Arch Street, 

ivivs T G.WcJi.ile; 7i.a r^at del et sculp 



JANUARY, 1870. 


Case of fatal poisoning hy three drachms of the fluid extract, and recovery 
of the poison some months after death. 

By Theo. G. Wormley, M.D., 
Professor of Chemistry and Toxicology in Starling Medical College. 

Having recently been solicited to make a chemical examina- 
tion of the contents of the stomach of a woman who, it was 
claimed, had administered to her, through the mistake of a drug- 
gist, a quantity of the fluid extract of gelsemium* and died from, 
its effects, we found it necessary, before undertaking the ex- 
amination, to ascertain whether this substance really contained 
any principle or principles by which its presence could be cer- 
tainly determined. For this purpose, we made a series of ex- 
periments upon the fluid extract of gelsemium, prepared by Til- 
den & Co., and found it to contain a new organic acid, which 
maybe denominated geUeminic acid^ and a strongly basic or 

Illustrating Dr. Wormley' s paper on Gelsemium sempervirens^ 
Fio. 1. Gelsemiaic acid from ethereal solution, X 20 dianie-ters. 
" 2. " " hot supersaturated aqjieous solutioD, x 

75 diameters. 

*' 3, 4, 5. Gelseminic acid, sublimed, x 75 diameters. 
" 6. Gelseminic acid, precipitated by corrosive sublimate^ X' 75 

* A concentrated tincture of the root of Gelsemium of the atrength of 480 
grains to each fluidounce. — Editor. 


alkaloidal principle, which, being the active principle of the 
drug, may be named gelsemimne, gelseminia or gelsemia. 

It has been known for some years that this drug contained 
a very active poisonous principle, but, so far as we are aware, 
the only published accounts relating to its chemical properties 
are the two heretofore published in this Journal : the first by 
H. Kollock, May 1855; p. 197, and the other by C. L. Eberle, 
January, 1869, p. 35. Neither of these experimentalists, how- 
ever, satisfactorily succeeded in isolating and ascertaining the 
chemical properties of this principle. 

Before entering into the details of the above case of poisoning, 
the methods by which the new acid and base may be obtained, 
together with their respective chemical properties, will be 
pointed out. 

I. Gelseminic Acid. 

Preparation. — Gelseminic acid may be obtained from the 
fluid extract of gelsemium by the following method : Concen- 
trate the fluid extract on a water-bath to about one-eighth of its 
volume, then add to the concentrated extract several times its 
volume of pure water and allow the mixture to stand several 
hours, or at least until the supernatant liquid has become very 
nearly or altogether clear. By this treatment most of the 
resinous matter, held in solution by the alcohol originally 
present, will be separated. The mixture is then transferred to 
a filter, the solids well washed with water, and the filtrate thus 
obtained, together with the washings, concentrated on a water- 
bath to about the same volume the concentrated extract had 
prior to the addition of the pure water. The concentrated 
liquid, after filtration, if necessary, is acidulated with hydro- 
chloric acid in the proportion of one drop of the pure acid for 
each fluid ounce of the fluid extract operated upon, then 
thoroughly agitated with about twice its volume of ether ; after 
the liquids have completely separated, the ethereal fluid is de- 
canted and the aqueous solution again agitated with a similar 
quantity of ether, which in its turn is decanted and the aqueous 
liquid finally washed with about its own volume of ether. 

On allowing the united ethereal liquids thus obtained to evapo- 


rate spontaneously, the gelseminic acid will be left chiefly in 
the form of nearly colorless groups of crystals, of the forms 
illustrated in plate, fig. 1, together with more or less yellowish 
or brownish resinous matter. The crystals may be washed with 
a small quantity of cold absolute alcohol, which will readily dis- 
solve the adhering coloring matter without acting much upon the 
crystals themselves. The alcohol thus employed may be evapo- 
rated spontaneously, when a second crop of crystals will be ob- 
tained ; these are also washed with alcohol and added to the 
former crystals. To further purify the crystals, they are dif- 
fused in a small quantity of hot water and extracted from the 
cooled mixture by chloroform, which on spontaneous evaporation 
will leave them very nearly or altogether colorless. 

To recover and purify the gelseminic acid taken up and held 
in solution by the alcohol employed to wash the above crystals, 
the liquid is evaporated to dryness and the residue treated 
with a small quantity of water, and sufficient caustic potash 
added to just neutralize the liquid, by which the organic acid 
will be dissolved in the form of a salt of the alkali. This solu- 
tion is filtered, the filtrate treated with slight excess of basic 
acetate of lead, and the precipitate, consisting of the gelsemi- 
nate of lead, collected on a filter and washed. The washed 
residue is diffused in an appropriate quantity of water and 
treated with excess of sulphuretted hydrogen gas, which will 
decompose the lead-salt with the precipitation of the metal as 
sulphuret and the elimination of the organic acid. This mixture 
is heated to about the boiling temperature, to dissolve the or- 
ganic acid, and filtered while still hot, and the residue washed 
with a little alcohol, which is collected with the first filtrate. 
The filtrate may now be concentrated and the organic acid ex- 
tracted by chloroform, which on spontaneous evaporation will 
leave it in its crystalline state. 

As the average of several experiments, after the above 
method, sixteen ounces of the fluid extract of gelsemium yielded 
about two grains and a quarter of pure gelseminic acid. 

Chemical Properties. — In its pure state, gelseminic acid is a 
colorless, odorless, nearly tasteless solid, which is readily crys- 
tallizable, usually forming groups or tufts of delicate needles. It 


has strongly acid properties, completely neutralising bases and 
uniting with them to form salts, most of which, excepting those 
of the alkalies, are at most only sparingly soluble in water. The 
salts of the acid having an alkaline base, are very freely soluble 
in water and are crystallisable. The pure acid is freely soluble 
both in chloroform and in ether, but only sparingly soluble 
in water, requiring about one thousand times its weight of this 
liquid for solution. It is much more freely soluble in hot water, 
from which, however, the excess immediately begins to separate, 
in the form of long slender needles, as the solution cools. Plate, 
fig- 2. 

If a small quantity of gelseminic acid, or of any of its salts 
in the solid state, be treated with a drop of concentrated nitric 
acid, it dissolves under a yellow coloration to a yellow, reddish 
or red solution, the final color depending upon the relative 
quantity of the organic acid present. If this solution be now 
treated with excess of ammonia, it acquires a deep blood-red 
color, which is permanent, at least for some hours, yioth of a 
grain of the acid, when treated after this manner, will yield a 
deep blood-red coloration ; toco*^ grain yields a similar colora- 
tion. The^h of a grain of the acid yields, under the 
action of nitric acid, a well-marked yellow coloration, which 
under the action of ammonia assumes a pale-red hue. The 
nitric acid solution of even the 5o,ioo^^ of a grain of the organic 
acid acquires, when treated with ammonia, a distinct reddish 
coloration. The production of this red coloration is highly 
characteristic of the organic acid. 

Sulphuric acid dissolves the organic acid, as also most of its 
salts, under the production of a yellow color, to a brown or red- 
dish-brown solution, which, upon the application of a moderate 
heat, acquires a dark chocolate color. The addition of bichro- 
mate of potash to a sulphuric acid solution of the organic acid, 
causes no striking change. 

Hydrochloric acid has little or no action upon the organic 

Caustic Potash, Soda or Ammonia, when added to gelseminic 
acid, causes it to assume an intense yellow color, and quickly dis- 


solves it, in the form of a salt, to a solution having very striking 
fluorescent properties, even when very highly diluted. A solu- 
tion of this kind containing of its weight of the acid, when 
examined in a small glass tube by transmitted light, has a 
strong yellow color ; under reflected light, a deep bluish appear- 
ance ; and under a cone of sun-light condensed upon it -with an 
ordinary hand lens, an intense blue color along the path of the 
condensed rays. 

When the solution contains j^^^^^ weight of the acid, 

it presents, under transmitted light, a greenish-yellow appear- 
ance, the surface of the liquid at the same time appearing of a 
deep blue color ; by reflected light, it presents a strong greenish- 
blue, and under condensed light, a deep blue coloration. 

A 10,000th solution of the acid presents, under transmitted 
light, only a faint yellowish hue, with a blue surface ; but under 
reflected light it appears of a deep blue color, even more intense 
than a 1000th solution. 

A 100,000th solution is colorless, or at most presents only a 
faint bluish hue under transmitted light ; under reflected sun- 
light, however, it presents a strongly marked blue appearance ; 
and when examined by condensed sun-light, the path of the con- 
densed beam, as it passes through the solution, presents a deep 
blue appearance. This blue coloration is also observed by look- 
ing down the tube containing the solution upon the surface of the 
liquid. Even one grain of such a solution, when contained in 
the end of a pipette and examined under condensed sun-light, 
exhibits a very distinct blue appearance. 

Solutions more dilute than the last mentioned appear nearly 
or altogether colorless under transmitted and reflected light ; 
but even a single drop of a solution containing only the 
TOioA, 00^^1 part of its weight of the acid, when contained in the 
end of a pipette and examined under a cone of condensed sun- 
light, presents a quite perceptible blue coloration along the path 
of the condensed rays. 

If a large test tube, or any similar vessel, nearly filled with 
water, be placed against a black ground in direct sun-light, and 
view obliquely from the front, and then a drop of an alkaline 
solution of the organic acid be dropped into the tube, a very 


beautiful deep blue coloration will manifest itself along the path 
of the drop as it slowly diffuses itself through the water, es- 
pecially if the diffusion be observed under a cone of condensed 
sun-light. A single drop of a 10,000th solution of the acid, 
when examined in this manner, yields an intense blue coloration 
along the path of the alkaline liquid. Even a drop of a 
100,000th solution gives rise to a very satisfactory blue colora- 

The commercial fluid extract of gelsemium, when rendered 
alkaline and diluted with water, presents appearances, in regard 
to color, similar to those above described, even if the extract be 
largely diluted. Thus, if the extract be rendered alkaline, and 
diluted with one hundred parts of water, the mixture presents a 
strongly marked blue appearance when examined by looking 
into the tube containing the mixture. Even when diluted with 
one thousand parts of water, it still presents, under condensed 
light, a very distinct blue coloration, even if only a few drops 
of the mixture be examined. 

In respect to the manifestation of a blue appearance under 
the action of light, solutions of gelseminic acid resemble some- 
what those of quinine, with, however, this marked difference, 
that in the case of the latter substance the coloration is only 
observed when the solution has an acid reaction, whereas in the 
case of gelseminic acid the coloration manifests itself only in the 
presence of an alkali, the bluish appearance immediately dis- 
appearing on the addition of an excess of an acid. 

When cautiously heated upon platinum foil, pure gelseminic 
acid fuses to a colorless liquid, which, as the heat is increased, 
darkens in color, gives off white fumes and is finally dissipated 
without residue. 

If a small quantity of the crystallized acid be placed within a 
glass ring which is attached to a glass slide, and the latter be 
gradually heated on an iron plate placed over a Bunsen burner, 
the acid undergoes no change until heated considerably above 
212° F., when it volatilizes without fusion or change of color. 
If the vapors thus produced be received upon a warmed glass 
slide or cover placed upon the glass ring, they condense in the 
form of brilliant, transparent crystals of one or more of the 


forms illustrated in plate, figs. 3, 4 and 5, their exact character 
depending on the relative amount of substance present and the 
temperature employed. For the success of this experiment it 
is necessary that only a very minute quantity of the organic 
acid be employed. The yuo^^ ^ grain of the acid will furnish 
quite a number of fine crystalline sublimates. Very satisfactory 
sublimates may be obtained from the acid, even when contami- 
nated with comparatively large quantities of foreign organic 

The true nature of the gelseminic acid sublimate may be es- 
tablished by treating it with a drop of water containing a trace 
of ammonia, when it will dissolve to a solution having the optical 
properties already described. So, also, its nature may be de- 
termined by dissolving it in a small drop of nitric acid and then 
adding to the yellow solution an excess of ammonia, when a deep 
or orange-red coloration will manifest itself. 

Reactions of Solutions of G-elseminic Acid. — Solutions of the 
salts of gelseminic acid have a slightly astringent taste and are 
colorless, excepting an alkali be present, when, as already 
pointed out, they present a bluish appearance. They are readily 
decomposed by free acids, with the elimination of the organic 
acid, which, if the solution contains -^^th or more of its weight 
of the acid, separates in the form of delicate crystalline needles. 

Since the gelseminates of the metals proper are nearly all 
insoluble in water, the acid is precipitated, from its combinations 
with an alkali, by solutions of most of the metallic salts, being 
thrown down in the form of a salt. 

1. Acetate of Lead throws down from solutions of the acid a 
yellow amorphous precipitate, which is readily soluble in free 
acids, even in acetic acid, with the separation of the organic 
acid, yio*^ ^ grain of the acid in one grain of water, yields 
with the reagents a very copious deposit ; touo^^ grain gives a 
very decided precipitate. 

2. Corrosive Sublimate produces in solution of the acid a 
yellowish filmy precipitate. After a little time, at least when 
from tolerably strong solutions, the precipitate becomes partly, 
at least, converted into colorless crystalline needles, plate, fig. 
6, due perhaps to the separation of the organic acid. The pre- 


cipitate is readily soluble in free acids, and its nature may be 
confirmed by addition of excess of nitric acid and then of 

Nitrate of Suboxide of Mercury also precipitates the acid in 
the form of a dirty yellow deposit. 

3. Nitrate of Silver produces in solution of the acid a yellow 
or brownish-yellow precipitate, which slowly acquires a nearly or 
altogether black color and is then insoluble in nitric acid. The 
1-lOOth of a grain of the acid yields a very copious precipitate. 
1-lOOOth grain yields at first only a faint turbidity, but in a 
little time there is a quite copious black or bluish-black precipi- 
tate. l-10,000th grain will yield after some minutes a good 
black deposit ; and after several minutes, one drop of a 50-OOOth 
solution of the acid will acquire a distinct purplish or blackish 

4. Sulphate of Copper throws down from tolerably strong 
solutions of the acid a brownish-red precipitate, which quickly 
acquires a dull red color, and after a time becomes partly gran- 
ular and crystalline. The precipitate is readily decomposed by 
free acids with the elimination of the organic acid. 

5. Sulphate of Iron produces in solutions of the acid, when 
not too dilute, a black precipitate which quickly becomes brown, 
and after a time masses of colorless crystalline needles appear. 

6. Chloride of Gold occasions a deep green precipitate, quickly 
becoming bluish and appearing black by reflected light. The 
precipitate is insoluble in acetic acid. 1-lOOOth of a grain of 
the acid yields a good bluish deposit. 

7. Bichloride of Platinum produces, in strong solutions of the 
acid, a dirty yellow amorphous precipitate, which is insoluble in 
acetic acid, and after a time becomes granular. 

8. A solution of bromine in bromohydric acid throws down 
from a drop of a 100th solution of the acid a copious greenish 
precipitate, which quickly acquires a bluish, then a dark grey 
color. One drop of a 1,000th solution yields a decided green 
precipitate, which finally acquires a deep blue color. 

9. Iodine in solution of Iodide of Potassium produces in so- 
lutions of the acid, when not very dilute, a copious reddish- 


brown deposit, which after a time assumes a dark green color. 
The precipitate is insoluble in acetic acid. 

Solutions containing more than 1-lOOth of their weight of the 
acid will also yield precipitates with the soluble neutral salts of 
lime, nickel, cobalt and tin. 

II. Gelseminine. 

Preparation. — Gelseminine may be extracted from the con- 
centrated extract from which gelseminic acid has been extracted 
by ether, by rendering the liquid slightly alkaline with potash, 
and then repeatedly agitating it with chloroform, which will dis- 
solve the alkaloid together with more or less foreign matter. 
For this purpose, about two volumes of chloroform may at first 
be employed, and after this has been separated, the operation 
repeated with a similar quantity of the fluid, when finally the 
alkaline solution is washed with about its own volume of the 
liquid. It sometimes happen, especially if the mixture has been 
violently agitated for some minutes, that the liquids form an 
emulsion from which the chloroform does not entirely separate 
for many hours. The separation may usually be facilitated by 
moderately warming the mixture and gently agitating it. 

The chloroform employed for these extractions is collected in 
a dish and evaporated at a very moderate temperature, when it 
will leave a hard, gum-like, yellowish or brownish-yellow residue. 
This is treated with a small quantity of water and the mixture 
slightly acidulated with hydrochloric acid, which will dissolve the 
alkaloid together with more or less foreign matter. This solu- 
tion is filtered, and the filtrate concentrated to about one-six- 
teenth the volume of the original fluid extract operated upon. 
On now treating the concentrated liquid with slight excess of 
caustic potash, the alkaloid will be precipitated in the form of 
a more or less white deposit. This is collected on a filter, washed 
with a small quantity of pure water, then allowed to dry at the 
ordinary temperature. On drying, the precipitate will shrink 
greatly in volume and acquire a dark color. 

For the purpose of further purifying the alkaloid, the dry 
mass is pulverized and the brownish powder dissolved, by the 
aid of a few drops of hydrochloric acid, in a small quantity of 


water, from which it is re-precipitated by slight excess of caustic 
potash and then extracted from the mixture by ether, which, on 
spontaneous evaporation, will leave it in the form of a very hard, 
brittle, transparent mass, strongly adhering to the watch-glass or 
other vessel in which the evaporation was effected. On care- 
fully detaching the residue and pulverising it, it will form a 
nearly or altogether colorless powder. If the powder is still 
colored, it may be again dissolved and extracted by ether. 

Since the alkaloid is not altogether insoluble in water, a very 
notable quantity will remain in the filtrate from which the pre- 
cipitate produced by potash was separated. This may be re- 
covered by precipitating it with a solution of iodine in iodide of 
potassium, collecting and washing the precipitate, then dissolving 
it in alcohol, and precipitating the iodine by the cautious addi- 
tion of nitrate of silver, which will throw it down as iodide of 
silver, whilst the alkaloid wiil remain in solution in the form of 
nitrate. The solution is then concentrated to expel the alcohol, 
diluted with water, filtered, and the filtrate evaporated at a 
moderate temperature, when the nitrate will be left in its pure 
state. The alkaloid may readily be recovered from the nitrate 
by dissolving it in water, adding slight excess of a free alkali, 
and then extracting the liberated base by ether or chloroform. 

Instead of employing the foregoing method for the recovery 
of the alkaloid from the above filtrate, the liquid may be slightly 
acidulated, then concentrated to a small volume, again rendered 
alkaline, and the alkaloid extracted directly by ether. To ob- 
tain it pure by this method, however, will require at least a 
second extraction with ether. 

In regard to the proportion of the alkaloid present in the fluid 
extract of gelsemium, we obtained, as the average of several 
experiments, about 3-20 grains of the purified base from eight 
fluid ounces of the extract examined. Since a fluid ounce of 
the extract weighs about 450 grains, it would thus appear that 
it contains about 1-llOOth of its weight of the alkaloid, or about 
one grain in two and a half fluid ounces. Doubtless a notable 
quantity of the base was lost in the repeated purifications. That 
the extract as found in commerce is uniform in strength, we are 
not prepared to state. 


Physiological effects. — That this alkaloid is a very active and 
powerful poison, is shown by the following experiments. One- 
tenth of a grain, in the form of chloride and dissolved in a 
small quantity of water, was administered to a strong healthy 
cat. Immediately it caused extreme frothing from the mouth, 
and in twenty minutes the animal exhibited great weakness of 
the extremities, walking with much uncertainty. In forty 
minutes there was extreme prostration with entire inability 
to walk and the uttering of plaintive cries. In one hour the 
prostration was even more complete. When seen six hours after 
the poison had been administered, the animal appeared compara- 
tively well, but walked with a very uncertain gait. There is 
little doubt but more or less of the poison was expelled from the 
mouth by the excessive frothing. 

Three days afterwards one-eighth of a grain was administered 
to the same animal by hypodermic injection, the animal in the 
meantime having apparently entirely recovered from the former 
dose, and being well fed. In about fifteen minutes the animal 
exhibited great distress, manifested by sudden changes of posi- 
tion, moaning, etc. In forty minutes there was great prostra- 
tion and great difficulty in moving, the legs giving way, and 
progression being about as often backwards as forwards ; the 
pulse was 230, and very feeble ; respiration greatly reduced and 
gasping ; the pupils dilated to their fullest extent. These symp- 
toms continued, and death took place in one hour and a half 
after the poison had been administered, without there being at 
any time convulsions. 

Chemical properties. — In its pure state, gelseminine is a color- 
less, odorless solid, having an intensely persistent bitter taste. 
Thus far we have failed to obtain it in the form of well-defined 
crystals. It has strongly basic properties, completely neutralising 
the most powerful acids, forming salts, of which the sulphate, 
nitrate, chloride and acetate are freely soluble in water,* 

In its free state, the alkaloid is only sparingly soluble in 
water, requiring several hundred times its weight for solution ; 

* We have not yet satisfactorily determined the ultimate composition 
of gelseminine, but hope soon to report its exact composition, together 
"with that of gelsemiuic acid. 


but it is very freely soluble both in chloroform and in ether; one 
part of the alkaloid immediately enters into solution when 
agitated with twenty-five parts of the latter liquid. 

If a drop of concentrated sulphuric acid be added to a small 
quantity of gelseminine, or of any of its colorless salts, it causes 
it to assume a reddish-brown color, and dissolves it to a reddish- 
colored solution. If this solution be moderately heated^ it ac- 
quires a beautiful purple color. This coloration manifests itself 
from 1-lOOth of a grain of the alkaloid. Bichromate of potash 
stirred in the sulphuric acid solution of the base, produces no 
marked change. 

iVzYnV readily dissolves the alkaloid, under the production 
of a greenish color, to a greenish or greenish-yellow solution. 

Hydrochloric acid dissolves it with a yellow coloration to a 
colorless or faintly yellow solution. 

Caustic potash has little or no effect upon the dry powder. 

At a temperature somewhat below 212° E., gelseminine fuses 
to a colorless viscid liquid, which on cooling solidifies to a trans- 
parent vitreous mass. At a higher temperature the alkaloid is 
dissipated, without residue, in the form of white fumes. If these 
vapors be received on a warmed piece of glass, they condense in 
the form of minute drops. 

Reactions of solutions of gelseminine. — Solutions of the salts 
of gelseminine, when pure, are nearly or altogether colorless, and 
have the peculiar bitter taste of the alkaloid. This bitter taste 
is well marked in a single drop of a 1000th solution of the base. 

1. Potash, as well as the other caustic alkalies, precipitates 
the alkaloid from tolerably strong solutions of its salts, in the 
form of a white amorphous deposit, which is insoluble in excess 
of the precipitant. One drop of a 100th solution of the base 
yields a rather copious flocculent precipitate. After some hours 
the precipitate acquires a reddish or brick-red color. 

2. Bichromate of potash throws down from solutions of salts 
of the alkaloid, when not too dilute, a copious yellow amorphous 
precipitate, which is slowly soluble in acetic acid. 

3. Carhazotic acid produces a yellow amorphous precipitate. 
1-lOOth of a grain of the alkaloid, in one grain of fluid, yields a 
very copious, bright yellow deposit ; 1-lOOOth grain yields a 
greenish-yellow deposit. 


4. Iodine in a solution of iodide of potassium throws down from 
solutions of salts of the alkaloid a brown precipitate, which is 
only sparingly soluble in acetic acid, 1400th of a grain yields 
a very copious precipitate ; 1-lOOOth of a grain, a good choco- 
late-colored deposit ; 1-10,000 of a grain, a very distinct deposit. 

5. Bromine in hromohydric acid precipitates the alkaloid from 
solutions of its salts in the form of a yellowish amorphous de- 
posit. 1-lOOth of a grain in one grain of water yields a copious 
flesh-colored precipitate, which becomes yellow. 1-lOOOth grain 
yields a very good yellow flocculent deposit ; 1-5000 grain, a 
very distinct precipitate. 

6. Chloride of gold ipYoduces a yellow amorphous precipitate, 
which dissolves with difficulty in acetic acid. 1-lOOth of a grain 
yields a very copious precipitate ; 1-lOOOth grain yields a good 
flocculent deposit. 

7. Bichloride of platinum, occasions a light yellow precipitate, 
which still manifests itself in one grain of a 1-lOOOth solution. 

8. Sulphocyanide of potassium produces, in tolerably strong 
solutions of the chloride of the alkaloid, a dirty-white precipitate, 
in which, after a time, brownish or chocolate-colored flakes 
usually appear. 

9. Ferricyanide of potassium throws down from concentrated 
solutions of the chloride a dirty-greenish or bluish-green precipi- 
tate, the green color of which after a time becomes more marked. 

10. Corrosive sublimate occasions a white precipitate, which is 
only sparingly soluble in large excess of hydrochloric acid. 
1-lOOth of a grain yields a very copious precipitate ; l-500th 
grain, a quite distinct turbidity. 

Concentrated solutions of the salts of the alkaloid also yield 
precipitates, of a dirty-white color, with iodide of potassium and 
with ferrocyanide of potassium. 

From the above it will be observed that the reactions of 
gelseminine are by no means so characteristic nor delicate as 
those of gelseminic acid. In poisoning by the fluid extract of 
gelsemium it might therefore happen that the acid would be dis- 
covered, whilst there would be a failure to satisfactorily prove 
the presence of the base. 


III. Case of Poisoning by Fluid Extract Gelsemium. 

Symptoms. — In regard to the case of poisoning by this sub- 
stance, heretofore mentioned, the particulars, as we understand 
them, were briefly as follows. On the 30th of January last, 
three teaspoonfuls of the fluid extract were administered to a 
young healthy married woman several weeks advanced in preg- 
nancy, who at the time complained of no serious illness. In 
two hours after taking the dose, the patient complained of pain 
in the stomach, nausea, and dimness of vision. These symptoms 
were soon succeeded with great restlessness, inefi'ectual efi'orts to 
vomit, and free prespiration over the body. At the expiration 
of about five hours the pulse was found feeble, irregular, and 
sometimes intermittent ; there was great prostration, with irreg- 
ular breathing and slow respiration. The skin was dry ; ex- 
tremities cold ; the pupils expanded and insensible to light ; the 
eyes fixed and inability to raise the eye-lids. The vital powers 
rapidly gave way, and, without convulsions, death occurred in 
about seven hours and a half after the poison had been taken. 

It will be observed that in this case, only three teaspoonsful 
of the fluid extract were taken. Presuming it to have had about 
the same strength as the preparation we examined, the quantity 
of the alkaloid contained in this amount could not have much 
exceeded the sixth-part of a grain. This would seem to indicate 
the alkaloid to be one of the most potent poisons at present 

Post-Mortem Appearances. — Eight days after death the body 
presented the following appearances, as described by Dr. J. H. 
Stephenson, who made the autopsy and to whom I am indebted 
for the account. Countenance natural as in sleep. No emacia- 
tion, and body in a perfect state of preservation. Cadaveric 
rigidity very slight. The back of the neck and between the 
shoulders, extending the full length of the spine, as also the 
depending parts of the thighs and arms to the elbows, presented 
a congested appearance. The membranes and substances of the 
brain and medulla oblongata were normal. The adipose tissue 
remarkably thick, and highly tinged throughout with bilious 
matter. Lungs slightly collapsed, natural in appearance, and 


superficial veins congested. Heart normal in size, superficial 
veins injected, and the cavities greatly distended with dark 
grumous blood, inside of which was found a well-defined mem- 
brane, identical in appearance with that found in diphtheria and 
pseudo-membranous croup. The abdomen presented no tympa- 
nitic distention. Stomach slightly distended with gas, and con- 
tained a small quantity of ingesta. Peritoneum and intestines 
in a healthy condition. Liver and investing membrane normal ; 
left kidney congested. The uterus was slightly enlarged and 
contained a foetus of about five wrecks' development. 

A small quantity of the contents of the stomach having es- 
caped from the organ at the time of the dissection, was collected 
separately in a small bottle ; the stomach with the balance of its 
contents was placed in a larger bottle. These bottles, with their 
contents, were carefully sealed and remained undisturbed until 
the 17th of May. At this time the contents of the bottle con- 
taining the stomach were found to have undergone considerable 
decomposition. A little pure alcohol was added to the decom- 
posing mass, and it then allowed to remain until the 13th of 
June, when the chemical examination of the contents of both 
bottles was commenced. 

Chemical Analysis. — The contents of the small bottle, consist- 
ing of about two fluid drachms of liquid with a small amount of 
solid matter, were digested with about one ounce of strong alco- 
hol, the liquid then decanted, and the solids washed with fresh 
alcohol, which was collected with that first employed. The 
alcoholic liquid was now concentrated at a moderate temperature 
to about one-half its volume, then filtered, and the filtrate con- 
centrated to about one drachm of fluid. This concentration 
caused the separation of some oily globules, and also of some 
apparently vegetable solid matter, and the mixture exhaled a 
very marked vegetable odor, very similar to that of the extract 
of gelsemium under similar conditions. 

The concentrated liquid thus obtained was again treated with 
alcohol, filtered, and the concentrated filtrate treated with about 
half an ounce of pure water, which left considerable matter 
undissolved, and furnished, when filtered, a clear slightly yellow- 
ish solution. This aqueous solution was concentrated to a small 


volume, filtered, the filtrate acidulated with a few drops of acetic 
acid and then extracted with two volumes of pure commercial 
ether. On allowing the ethereal liquid to evaporate spontane- 
ously, it left a nearly colorless residue containing several groups 
of crystals, similar in appearance to those of gelseminic acid. 

A portion of this residue, when examined in its solid state by 
nitric acid and ammonia, and another portion when dissolved by 
the aid of an alkali and the solution tested by several reagents, 
presented the chemical and fluorescent properties of gelseminic 
acid in a degree indicating the presence of a very notable 
quantity of the acid. The contents of the small bottle were not 
examined for the alkaloid. 

The contents of the stomachlw ere treated and purified after the 
general method described above, and the final aqueous solution 
acidulated with acetic acid and extracted with ether, for the pur- 
pose of recovering the organic acid, if present ; the solution thus 
extracted was then rendered slightly alkaline and extracted by 
chloroform, for the purpose of recovering the alkaloid. The 
purified ether extract revealed very satisfactory evidence of the 
presence of the organic acid, both in regard to its fluorescent 
and chemical properties. So, also, the chloroform extract, when 
purified and the final aqueous solution concentrated to a very 
small volume and examined by several reagents, furnished un- 
doubted evidence of the presence of the base, indicating it, how- 
ever, to be present only iu very minute quantity. 

On comparing the intensities of the reactions of the several 
reagents applied with those obtained by the same reagents from 
solutions of the alkaloid of known strength, it was inferred that 
the quantity of the base recovered in this case did not much, if 
any, exceed the fiftieth-part of a grain. The quantity of the 
alkaloid originally taken, as we have already seen, did not prob- 
ably much exceed the sixth of a grain. 

The fact that the stomach with its contents had undergone 
considerable decomposition, and also that the chemical examina- 
tion was not made until some months after death, would seem to 
indicate that the poison is not readily destroyed by decomposi- 
tion, and that it may be recovered after comparatively long 
periods, even when taken only in small quantity. 

Columbus, Ohio, Nov. 15, 1869. 




By Samuel Campbell, of Philadelphia. 

To THE Editor : 

In the September number of the American Journal of Phar- 
macy, I published an article entitled " a new and simple pro- 
cess for fluid extracts, by which any drug may be exhausted by 
percolation and without heat," and as I learn that there seems 
to be some misunderstanding regarding the minutiae of the 
method proposed, I herewith take the liberty of presenting to 
you for publication a second paper, on the same subject, em- 
bracing an analysis of each step of the process, with a classifi- 
cation of a list of the fluid extracts made by this method in a 
series of experiments made by myself. The subject is an im- 
portant one, and one that is worthy the attention of the revisers 
of the Pharmacopoeia, recommending itself by its simplicity of 
manipulation and formula, involving no expense by waste, nor 
outlay of means for vessels, or stills, wherewith to recover al- 
cohol, and requiring only ordinary care and skill to make a 
perfect fluid extract. It also leaves the retail pharmaceutist 
without excuse in not making the fluid extracts himself, in 
preference to buying them from the manufacturer, as, by this 
method, he may prepare as small a quantity as four fluid 
ounces, or as large a quantity as desired ; as I experienced 
better success in making five pints than in making a half pint, 
the smaller quantity requiring more careful manipulation than 
the larger, a point which will recommend itself to the manufac- 
turing pharmaceutist. The first step in the process is to obtain 
a powder of the proper degree of fineness, a point upon which 
there seems to be a difi'erence of opinion among pharmaceutists ; 
some maintaining that it is not necessary to have a fine or very 
fine powder for purposes of percolation ; others taking the con- 
trary view, that a powder cannot be too fine. In my opinion, 
much harm has been done by the advocates of extremely fine 
powders, as it has a tendency to throw the whole business of 
making officinal fluid extracts into the hands of the manufac- 
turers, or compels the conscientious retailer, who prefers to make 



his own preparations, to depend upon the wholesale dealer, or 
grinder of drugs, as to the purity of his powders, it being almost 
impossible for him to powder them in bis own laboratory, as it 
involves so much time and labor as to make the products cost 
him more than he can buy them of the large manufacturer, and 
as a consequence he cannot compete with his rival or neighboring 
store. Take, for instance, nux vomica, or pareira brava, or gentian 
root, or buchu leaves, and what facilities are there in any retail 
drug store to reduce any one of these substances to a powder, 
in accordance with the officinal grade of fineness, without he is 
willing and able to spend two or three days over a drug mill, 
or pestle and mortar. Another objection to a fine or very fine 
powder, is a fact that I have always observed, in dampening the 
powder previous to packing in the percojator, which is the for- 
mation of small pellets all through the mass, caused by the ag- 
glutination of the dusty or finer particles of the powder the moment 
the moistening liquid reaches it ; and it is almost impossible to 
avoid such a result, the only method being to use a large amount 
of liquid, so as to form a pasty mass, which then becomes im- 
practicable for packing solidly, and, in all such cases, an im- 
perfect percolation is the consequence. In my method I have 
adopted the grade of powder known as moderately coarse. Ar- 
riving at such a conclusion, after having made a novel yet in- 
teresting series of experiments, which I shall designate as the 
analysis of moderately coarse powders, I selected twenty dif- 
ferent drugs, and after grinding twice, alternately through a 
Swift's drug mill, and sieving, and then contusing in a pestle 
and mortar until the whole had passed through a No. 40 sieve, 
I found that three-fourths of the whole quantity, in almost 
every instance, would pass through sieve No. 50, known as 
moderately fine, more than one-half through sieve No. 60, known 
as fine, and one-third, and in a majority of cases nearly one- 
half, through No. 80, known as very fine, leaving, on an aggre- 
gate, a balance of only one-fourth of the whole quantity of the 
grade No. 40. Hence, I deemed it an absurdity and a waste 
of time and labor for any further reduction in the fineness of 
the powders. And the practicability of the idea was evidenced 
by the success in the almost entire exhaustion of upwards of 


60 different drugs, as the range of my field of experiment. 
Having procured a powder moderately coarse, the next step is 
to mix the proper menstruum in the proportion of sixteen fluid 
ounces for every sixteen troy ounces of the powder to be per- 
colated, preparatory to the next step of the process, which is to 
dampen the powder. I find that four fluid-ounces of the prepared 
menstruum is quite sufiicient to dampen sixteen troy ounces of 
the powder, unless the drug is unusually bulky, and then six 
fluid ounces is enough. And in dampening the powder the 
liquid should be thoroughly incorporated by being well rubbed 
uniformly through the powder, so as to avoid any agglutination 
of the finer particles, or the formation of small pellets. It is a 
practical error to have the powder wet by using the whole of 
the menstruum, more especially in this method, as the objeet 
aimed at is to combine both maceration and percolation slowly 
during the four days of rest, and if the process is conduatedl in 
a glass funnel, it will be observed, at the end of four days^ that 
the active soluble matter of the drug has percolated, or settled 
in the bottom of the funnel, leaving the upper layer,, or at least 
one-third of the packed drug, tasteless ; conse€|uenitl'y it is more 
easily forced through by the displacing liquid. Having damp- 
ened the powder as above, the next step is to. proceed to pack 
it, uniformly and moderately tight, in the percolafear. Having 
previously placed a piece of sponge in the neek of the percolator 
or funnel, moistened with the menstrisum, then cover over the 
surface of the drug a disc of paper and proceed to pour on the re- 
maining twelve fluid ounces of menstruum, allowing it to he- 
slowly absorbed or percolated through the packed drug. When 
the liquid is observed to begin to saturate the piece of sponge 
in the bottom of the funnel, place a cork tightly in the orifice 
of the neck of the funnel and allow the whole to macerate four 
four days. At the end of that time remove the cork, and pour 
over the surface of the drug in the funnel a displacing liquid cor- 
responding to the menstruum used, omitting glycerin, as, for 
instance, if the menstruum was alcohol and glycerin, let the dis- 
placing liquid be strong alcohol ; if alcohol, water and glycerin, 
use for displacing liquid dilute alcohol ; if water and glycerin 
(as used for wild cherry bark) use cold water as the displacing 



liquid. When sixteen fluid ounces have been obtained the pro- 
cess is finished, and in every experiment the result far exceeded 
in odor, taste and appearance the product resulting from the 
usual method. In a number of the experiments I observed that, 
after obtaining the first sixteen fluid ounces, and then continu- 
ing the percolation to the extent of two or four ounces more, 
the last percolate was charged with some odor and color- 
ing matter, but upon careful evaporation proved to my mind 
that it was not worth preserving, nor in any one instance was 
there a greater loss than one per cent, of active matter, a fact 
which was practically proven by the experiment of drying the 
exhausted powder, then redampening and repacking it in the 
funnel, and again exhausting with alcohol and water, until 
the menstruum passed colorless, then carefully evaporating to an 
•extract, and weighing ; thus giving the accurate loss of soluble 
matter. As a matter of great accuracy it could be obviated by 
the suggestions thrown out by Mr. A. B. Taylor, in his criti- 
cism on my method before the Pharmaceutical Association, last 
September, which was to percolate eighteen fluid ounces, then 
reduce it to sixteen fluid ounces by spontaneous evaporation ; 
this, of course, refers to the alcoholic fluid extracts. Yet I feel 
assured that, when the process is carefully conducted, and not 
hurried througk, the first sixteen fluid ounces is almost, in 
fact quite, as near to perfection as it can possibly be made, 
and know that it will compare much more favorably in regard 
to the amount of active soluble matter than the present officinal 
method, as it has always been a source of inquiry to my mind 
whether the evaporated portion of the officinal formulas contain any 
remedial properties worth preserving. Also, whether in mixing 
it with the reserved portion, and filtering after standing, it does 
not carry with it a portion of the active matter. The use of 
glycerin as forming part of the menstruum in this method is 
not intended to conflict with the officinal formulas, but is sug- 
gested as an invaluable agent and addition for dissolving out 
the active matter of drugs, also for its superiority over sugar in 
preventing the deposition of a portion of the active soluble 
matter that occurs in almost all of the fluid extracts ; and further, 
from some unfinished experiments, I am inclined to believe that. 



in all cases where the active principles of drugs exist with 
extractive matter, glycerin will supercede all other men- 
struua. The only doubt existing with me in regard to such 
an assertion is the want of knowledge as to the capability of 
glycerin to withstand or arrest fermentation in the presence of 
vegetable matter, and hope to be able, at some future time, to 
give the result of such a series of experiments. 

The following list comprises all the substances I have experi- 
mented with, and the menstruum used : 

Class No. 1, 

Or Alcoholic Fluid Extracts ; 
menstruum composed of Al- 
cohol, three-fourths ; Gly- 
cerin, one-fourth. 

Aconite Root. 

Buchu Leaves. 





Ceylon Cinnamon. 


Juniper Berries. 

Sassafras Bark. 



Class No. 2, 

Or Hydro-Alcoholic Fluid Ex- 
tracts ; menstruum composed 
of Alcohol, one-half ; Water, 
one-fourth ; Glycerin, one- 


Aconite Leaves. 

Camomile Flowers. 

Belladonna Leaves. 






Cinchona Calisaya. 



Colchicum Root. 

Colchicum Seed. 

Conium Leaves. 


Digitalis Leaves. 



Erigeron Canadensis. 



Gentian Root. 
Helleboris Niger. 

Hydrastis Canadensis 
Hyoscyamus Leaves. 
Ipecacuanha Root. 
Iris Florentina. 



Lobelia Leaves. 
Pareira Brava. 
Quercus Alba. 
Rhubarb Root. 
Rubus Villosus. 

Uva Ursi. 

Class No. 3, 

Menstruum composed of equal 
parts of Glycerin and Water. 

Wild Cherry Bark. 
Liquorice Root. 
Coffee (Java.) 

The subject is one of interest to the profession at large, and 
I will hail with pleasure the criticisms of any or all whom it 
interests, involving, as it does, a complete revolution in th 
various pharmaceutical formulas of all our standard authorities. 

Nov. lOth, 1869. 

By Oscar Oldberg. 

The number of drug stores in Sweden is limited by virtue of 
the control that the Royal Board of Health exercises over them. 
Formerly the privilege of practicing the pharmaceutical profes- 
sion and selling drugs was granted by the King alone, on the 
recommendation of the Board, to persons considered competent 
chemists and pharmaceutists. These licenses were transferable, 
and hence all old drug stores in Sweden can be bought by any 
one who has fulfilled all the requirements of law and established 
his competency. The licenses to hold and conduct these stores 
are generally worth three times the value of the stock and 

But the licenses of all new drug stores are of an entirely dif- 
ferent character — being granted to the pharmaceutists only for 
their lifetime, with which they expire. New license is tendered 
to the next happy aspirant when a druggist holding such non- 
transferable license dies. 



The number of pharmaceutical establishments in Sweden 
being extrmelj small in comparison to what it is in this country, 
it follows that licenses are there very valuable, although by no 
means in the same proportion. A city of about 5000 inhabi- 
tants, with an additional 20,000 of people living all around it, 
may have only one drug store. In the United States I have heard 
of two such shops in a place with only a few hundred residents. 
To be sure, populations of such little embryos of future great 
cities in America grow at such a marvellous rate, that it is 
almost justifiable to put up one pharmacy for every 500 people, 
or two such for every one bank and newspaper- 

But, as for Sweden, let us go through a regular apprenticeship 
there and rise by degrees — on paper — up to the eminence of a 
happy established boss. 

Master A., 16 years of age, is rather a smart boy, and his 
father wishes to make something great out of him. But money 
is tight, and Master A.'s brother needs all that papa can spare 
for the completion of his studies at the University. What is to 
be done ? Why, send the youth to a drug store, — of course. He 
has spent six years at the high school and is tolerably well posted 
in Latin, German and botany, etc., so he has all the requisites of 
qualification prescribed by law. 

His father is either a country parson or something else. His 
•mother having supplied him with a half dozen new shirts, a dozen 
pair of stockings, etc., etc., and his whole wardrobe having been 
inspected and reconstructed, Master A.'s trunk is packed, and, 
after an affectionate leave-taking from his home and folks, olf he 
starts toward an unknown fate. 

With all the money his father can possibly spare in his 
pocket-book, just a grain of uncertain fear in his heart, and a 
good pound of curiosity in his head, he at last reaches his place 
of destination. The store is one of the most prominent corners 
in the city ; outside, over the door, a swan, a lion, an owl, an 
angel, a dragon, a deer, a unicorn, a crown or some other 
wonderful thing — the trade mark and name of the establishment. 
Inside, he finds himself puzzled out of his concepts altogether. 
The store-room is large ; in the middle of it is a large 
counter, having a low railing along its outer edge, and 



behind it stand two or three or four gentlemen, weighing 
and mixing and rubbing and pouring and writing with a 
remarkable speed. One makes pills and powders, another 
mixtures and liniments, and a third-one plasters and ointments, 
and so on. Behind the long counter on one side are two young 
men running about with scales in their hands waiting on a dozen 
customers. On the shelves around the walls is an astonishingly 
great number of bottles, and below the shelves long rows of 

" Is the apothecary in, sir ?" 

^' Yes sir. Anything particular ?" 

''Well, I am going to — to be an apprentice here." 

" Oh yes ! Walk into the back room." 

Master A. goes behind the counter for the first time in his life, 
and marches on into another large room, which he thinks is 
another drug store. At last, after waiting an hour or two, he 
hears the approaching steps of the proprietor of all that. 

" Ah, good day my boy. How is your father ? Come along 
in here, I want to talk to you." 

Oh, what an awful man he is though ! ! 

The boy is engaged to stay four years in the store, during 
which time he receives for his services board, lodging and in- 
struction. During the first year he cleanses bottles and mortars 
and all sorts of vessels and implements, waits on customers when 
he can get a chance to, and makes up his mind that he is the 
most unfortunate wretch in creation. The second year he feels 
a little easier, because, then Master B. comes in the store to take 
his place, through which notable event he is raised one step in 
advance, and has the sweet satisfaction to know that somebody is 
under him, any how. But still he is by no means enthusiastic 
about his learned profession. The third year he knows how to 
make a pill mass well, can spread a first rate plaster, make de- 
coctions and infusions, and seldom washes any more mortars. 
The fourth year he is first apprentice, has a chance to put up a 
prescription or two a day, under the supervision of the prescrip- 
tion clerks, when they are busy or have something too trouble- 
some. He goes into the laboratory back in the yard and helps the 
manufacturing chemists — aye, he is toward the end of his term 


of apprenticeship trusted even so far as to be allowed to cook adhe- 
sive plaster on his own hook. He has now leisure hours which 
he can devote to study, and he knows more about the customers, 
the store, the magazines, the laboratory, the garrets and the 
cellars than any one else connected with the place. 

Finally his employer finds it impossible to keep him any 
longer as an apprentice, without being looked upon as a tyrant ; 
he apprehends that Mr. A. won't wait much longer before his 
patience is used up, and at last he consents to let him graduate. 
Doctor C. and D. and E. and F. are requested to come and 
examine the young student and to dine with his employer. At 
the examination one of the clerks officiates as Secretary, and 
writes down every question that is put to the poor fellow, 
together with the answers given by him. Master A. exhibits a 
row of bottles containing samples of chemical and pharmaceuti- 
cal preparations made by himself, and as he goes through the mill 
they sift him quite severely sometimes. If he can satisfy his 
examiners, they sign the *' protocollum," and it is sent, 
together with a certificate from the employers, to the Eoyal 
Board of Health. 

After due consideration of and deliberation on the subject, 
that body issues his diploma and requests the young graduate 
to take the oath of allegiance and office. This done, he is a 
" pharmaciae studiosus," and can put up a prescription or distil 
spirits of nitre on his own responsibility. He receives salary 
now, and is a professional man. 

One of the manufacturing chemists is going to take his place 
at the prescription counter instead of Mr. L., Avho had the good 
luck to be appointed druggist at Y., the other day, and young 
Mr. A. fills the vacancy in the laboratory for a couple of years. 
Then, if he can raise the money, he goes to Stockholm and gets 
his name entered on the list of candidates for admission to the 
College of Pharmacy. He is subjected to another examination 
and, if he successfully passes it, admitted. At the college he reads 
this book and that book and the other book, too, and makes all 
sorts of complicated preparations and chemical experiments, and 
after two or three years he is ready for his "tentamina" in 
the different subjects. These tentamina are, thank God, his last 



examinations, and, after having passed, he gets another diploma 
from the Royal Board of Health, takes another oath of ofiSce 
and is called an apothecary. 

But "where is he going to get a drug store from ? He has no 
money, and it would not help him much if he had a rich uncle 
to supply him with that most useful article either, for he must, ac- 
cording to law, serve four years more first. Well, well, he serves. 
He is now 29 or 30 years of age, and has not been able to save 
much from his rather small salary, but he wants a drug store to 
be sure. 

His uncle could buy him one now — one of those old estab- 
lishments with transferable licenses ; but ten chances to one 
he hasn't got a rich uncle. 

By and by the proprietor of one of the newer drug stores 
dies, and the place is advertised vacant. There is at last one- 
tenth or twentieth part of a chance. He sends in his applica- 
tion with all the others, and in due time is notified, through the 
Journal of Pharmacy, that Mr. R., who is 50 years of age, and 
has been standing behind the prescription counter till he has 
ruptures of blood vessels in both legs, got the nomination from 
the Board of Health, and was confirmed by the King. Or if 
he is unusually fortunate and particularly skilled in his profes- 
sion, and his competitors are less so, he gets the appoint- 
ment and borrows money to buy the stock and fixtures with from 
the widow of his predecessor. Once well established, he devotes 
the balance of his lifetime to first pay his debts, and then, if 
there is any time left, make money. 

We have in Sweden a good many excellent pharmaceutists 
dying from old age before they have the satisfaction to see a 
store of their own. Some emigrate to America, Africa and 
Asia, before it is too late. 

The Royal Board of Health is the bugbear for the druggists. 
They instituted a regular annual visitation in each store by the 
provincial physicians, and besides, made a surprise call occa- 
sionally. At these visitations the store was searched through, 
and sundry chemicals and preparations tested, the visiting 
physician or professor looked after, that the druggist did not 
charge more for his drugs or prescriptions than the annual price 



list issued by the Board allowed, and the poisons were particu- 
larly taken notice of. 

In Sweden all poisons are kept in one closet, separated from 
all other medicines, and they are locked up. No one except the 
graduated pharmaceutist has access to the poison closet.* 

The poisons are divided into six classes : 

1st. Preparations of opium and lactucarium. 

2d. " " antimony and emetia. 

3d. " mercury and lead. 

4th. " nux vomica, elaterium, veratria, euphor- 

bium and croton oil. 
5th. " " arsenic and phosphorus. 

6th. " " prussic acid, chloroform, belladonna, 

hyoscyamus, digitalis, stramonium, co- 
nium, aconite and ergot, etc. 
The closet was divided off into six compartments, each one 
painted with its own distinct color. In these compartments the 
different classes of poisons were put. 

1st. Class, . . blue. 

2d. "... red. 
3d. " . . yellow. 

4th. " . . . green. 

5th. " . . black. 

6th. "... white. 
The labels on the poison phials had the same color as the 
shelf to which they belonged, and the bottles of all classes 
had a characteristic mark (^) common to all. The labels on 
arsenic and phosphorus being black, they had white lettering. 

This arrangement prevented every possibility of mistake, for 
if one of these bottles, with a colored label and the poison mark 
on it, should stand among a hundred others, it would still be 
immediately recognized and never touched. And the classifi- 
cation effectually guards against mistakes between the different 
poisons themselves. 

No poison was ever sold except on prescription from a regular 
physician, and arsenic only when the buyer signed an acknowl- 
edgement of the receipt of it on the back of that prescription. 
The entire stock of arsenic on hand at the annual visitation by 



the physician of the district was carefully weighed, and then the 
phials containing it sealed up. At the next visitation it was 
weighed again, and the druggist requested to show the original 
prescriptions for the arsenic missing. When no arsenic had been 
sold, the seals were of course not disturbed. A journal was also 
kept, in which account was kept of all arsenic bought and sold. 

All prescriptions for the least quantity of any remedial agent, 
which belonged to the poison closet, were kept by the druggist 
and never renewed, except on special order from the physician. 
For instance, a mixture containing one grain of extract of 
hyoscyamus to four ounces of some innocent cough syrup could 
not, according to law, be renewed. All other prescriptions for 
non-poisonous preparations were invariably returned to the cus- 
tomers. When furnishing a prescription, the preparer of it was 
obliged to mark down on it the price of each separate article 
entering into its composition, and then the cost of labor, bottle 
and capping and label beside ; this long column of numbers 
was then summed up, and the figurer put his name under the 
sum, and was thus responsible for its correctness, as well as for 
the preparation itself. Here are samples of the valuation of 
prescriptions : 

R 4 Extr. hyoscyami, gr. vj. 1 R Sulph. zinci, gr. x. 
6 Aquge foeniculi, ^ij. 2 Aquae destillat. gviij. 
4 sol. Solve, adde. 4 sol. 

8 Syrup, althsese. 4 capp. m. f. sol. 
24 Decoct, senegse, aa. ^i. 12 phial. 

4 capping, cork and label. — 

9 phial. 23 ore. X. Y. Z. 

59 ore. X. Y. Z. 

R 1 Pulv. nitrat. kalic. gr. v. 
1 " rad. ipecac, gr. j. 
3 " opii depurat. gr. ss. 
7 mixing. 

6 powd. papers, m. f. pulv. dr. tal. doses, No. vj. 

18 ore. X. Y. Z. 

One American cent is about equal to three Swedish ores. 

ON Campbell's process for preparing fluid extracts. 29 

All this certainly secures unparalleled safety and an excellent 
corps of apothecaries, but the total absence of all competition 
is damaging to the practical science itself. Why, there is hardly 
any progress at all in pharmacy, and however book-learned, 
however keen chemists the druggists of old Sweden are — they 
are slow in many respects. I see, for instance, in the new edition 
of their Pharmacopoeia, and hear from my cousin, who has lately 
been engaged in one of the largest drug stores there, that they 
know nothing as yet about percolation, fluid extracts, the 
modern resinoids, our elegant American elixirs and glyceroles, 
granules and sugar-coated pills. 

On the other hand, they have now adopted the French gramme 
weight ; they know by heart the equivalent of an element to a 
fraction, and can make pills as round as the very best shot in 
double quick time. 

It is unreasonable to expect more as long as there is no com- 
petition. Why not allow every druggist who has ^'served his time" 
and got his diploma to put up his shingle and make nauseous 
pills ? I am confident that the disagreeableness of their pills 
would vanish soon enough, and by and by they would even have 
them sugar-coated. This will never be accomplished under the 
present system. In my humble opinion, the system in Sweden 
and the United States are the extremes. Grant no licenses to 
unqualified persons, but do grant them to all who have thoroughly 
studied their profession, and I think we will be better off in 
every respect. 

WasJdngton, D. C, Nov,, 1869. 


By James T. Kino, 

The changes in the process of preparing fluid extracts, sug- 
gested by Mr. Samuel Campbell in the Sept. No. of the Journal, 
appeared well worth a trial, as the objects aimed to be reached 
are important, viz., avoiding the use of heat, and saving alcohol. 
But it appeared to me that the process was not applicable to 
all drugs, or rather, that some of the drugs specified in the 



hydro-alcoholic class would not yield all their active principle, 
in sixteen fluid ounces of percolate from sixteen troy ounces of 
the drug. 

Rhubarb was taken for the experiment. The root was pow- 
dered in a Swift's drug-mill and passed through a sieve of forty 
meshes to the linear inch, until sixteen troy ounces were obtained ; 
this was moistened with a menstruum composed of two parts 
alcohol, one part water and one part glycerin, three fluid ounces 
being sufficient. It was then carefully packed in a funnel pre- 
pared for percolation, the surface covered with a piece of filter- 
ing paper, and thirteen fluid ounces of the menstruum above 
described poured over it. 

Twenty-four hours showed that the sixteen ounces of liquid 
used was not sufficient to descend through the powder. 

Finding that the menstruum was all absorbed and its descent 
stopped, sufficient dilute alcohol was added, after the expiration 
of thirty-six hours, to uniformly moisten the drug. Six ounces 
more were required — the sixteen troy ounces of rhubarb requir- 
ing twenty-two ounces of liquid. 

After macerating for the length of time specified by Mr. C., 
dilute alcohol was added until sixteen ounces of percolate were 
obtained. This was a dark strong extract of rhubarb, but the 
drug was not exhausted, eight ounces more being required. 

The result of the experiment agrees nearly with those of Mr. 
Reynolds, reported in the Nov. No. of the Journal. 

The suggestion to allow maceration for several days before 
percolating is a good one, as less menstruum will be required 
for the complete exhaustion of the drug. 

3Iiddletown, N, T., Dec, 1869. 

By Wm. Silver Thompson. 

Vallefs Protocarhonate of Iron. 
In the U. S. Pharmacopoeia of 1860 this preparation is called 
" Pills of Carbonate of Iron." This was probably an oversight 
on the part of the framers of that work, as it does not direct the 
mass to be made into pills. 



After considerable experience in making this preparation, the 
firm of which the writer is a member has found it advisable to 
depart in some respects from the officinal formula, and by doing 
so have produced a more stable preparation, which is but slightly 
hygroscopic, and is always ready to be formed into pills of firm 
consistence. Our formula is as follows : 

Take of Protosulphate of Iron, 8 ounces ; 
Bicarbonate of Soda, 6 ounces ; 
Sugar, in fine powder, 41 ounces ; 
Clarified Honey, J ounce ; 
Syrup, a sufficient quantity ; 
Water, a sufficient quantity. f 

Dissolve each salt separately in a sufficient quantity of water, 
and add the soda solution to the iron solution gradually, con- 
stantly stirring until the effervescence ceases, when add about a 
fluid-ounce of syrup, and again stir. After the carbonate of iron 
has subsided, draw off the supernatant liquid and repeat the 
washing with cold water slightly sweetened with syrup, until the 
washings are free from saline taste, when, having again drawn 
ofi* the supernatant liquid, transfer the precipitate to a muslin 
cloth, and express as much of the water as possible. 

To the precipitate, in a porcelain dish placed over a water- 
bath, add the honey and sugar, and with frequent stirring evapo- 
rate to the pilular consistence. 

Prepared as above the mass is of fine consistence, of light 
color, and contains a large proportion of carbonic acid, which 
may be shown upon the addition of a few drops of diluted sul- 
phuric acid to a small portion. 

Syrup of Bromide of Iron. 
The following formula, with careful manipulation, will furnish 
a satisfactory preparation : 

Take of Bromine, 9 drachms ; 

Card Teeth, 4J drachms ; 
Sugar, 10 troy ounces ; 
Water, a sufficient quantity. * 
To the bromine add five fluidounces of water in a flask of the 



capacity of at least a pint, add the card teeth in small portions 
at a time as the action progresses, having previously placed the 
flask in a sand bath. 

Insert into the mouth of the flask a tuft of card teeth moistened 
with water, to arrest and prevent the escape of a portion of the 
bromine should the action become violent. 

When the action has ceased, heat the solution of bromide of 
iron containing the remaining or undissolved portion of the card 
teeth to the boiling point, and filter through paper into a bottle 
containing the sugar, marked to the measure of a pint. 

Wash the undissolved card teeth with a small portion of water, 
and add the washing to the contents of the bottle through the 
filter, followed with sufficient water to make a pint of syrup. 
This syrup contains nearly a drachm of the salt to each fluid- 

Syrup of Hypophosphite of Iron, 
Take of Hypophosphite of Lime, 256 grains ; 
Protosulphate of Iron, 493 grains ; 
Sugar, 10 troy-ounces ; 

Hypophosphorous Acid, a sufficient quantity ; 
Water, a sufficient quantity. 

Dissolve the hypophosphite of lime in four fluid-ounces of boil- 
ing water, and acidulate the solution with hypophosphorous acid. 

Dissolve the protosulphate of iron in four fluid-ounces of boil- 
ing water, mix it with the lime solution, and set the mixture 
aside for two or three hours. When the reaction has ceased and 
the sulphate of lime formed has subsided, decant the clear iron 
solution and pour it into a bottle containing the sugar, marked 
to the measure of a pint, and add water sufficient to make a pint 
of syrup. When the sugar is dissolved, after occasional agitation 
transfer the syrup to small vials and cork tightly. 

Each fluid-ounce of this syrup contains sixteen grains of ferrous 

Baltimore, Md,y November^ 1869, 




By Edward R. Squibb, M.D. 

In the early part of 1859 the writer of this note completed a 
design previously formed and less definitely executed, of offer- 
ing for general medical use a liquid preparation containing only 
the useful anodyne and hypnotic constituents of opium, and of 
uniform strengtjh. 

The design originated in a desire to improve upon the advan- 
tages of the "opium titr^ " or assayed opium of French phar- 
macy, and to imitate, with improvement, if might be, some of 
the advantages claimed for the nostrums known as Battley's 
'Miquor opii sedativus," and McMunn's " elixir of opium." 

Such a preparation was made, and, under the name of liquo<r 
opii compositus, was placed in the hands of several physicians 
who were supposed to be intelligent close observers, and who 
had been long familiar with the various preparations of opium 
and their effects in use. These trials, though not very numer- 
ous, resulted in the main so favorably that, after continuing them 
through the year 1859, a paper was prepared upon " opium as a 
therapeutic agent," containing a minutely detailed practical 
working formula for the preparation of liquor opii compositus, 
and strongly recommending it for trial in general use, and for 
introduction into the then approaching revision of the U. S. 
Pharmacopoeia, if it should sustain its promised useful character. 
This paper was published in this Journal for March, 1860, andi 
may be found in Vol. VIII of the third series (Vol. 32, whole 
number), at pages 115 and 120 et seq. The preparation was- 
not advertised nor pushed in any way, either publicly or pri- 
vately, but was simply announced for sale on the writer's price- 
lists, with a recommendation for trial, and was allowed to make, 
its own reputation, and seek its own level of value. In 1862 it, 
had been much more extensively tried, but was refused admission 
to the Pharmacopoeia by the Committee of Revision, — the Com- 
mittee adopting instead of it the present formula for tinctura 
opii deodorata. With this latter preparation it was at once put 
in fair open competition, the two preparations being offered side 




hj side, with a fair statement that one had been rejected and the 
other adopted by officinal authority, and with the no inconsidera- 
ble inducement of 20 per cent, difference in price in favor of the 
officinal preparation. Beside, the officinal tinctura opii deodorata 
was always made from assayed opium, and was uniform in 
strength with the liquor opii compositus, with which it was 
placed in competition. The Pharmacopoeia does not require the 
tinctura opii deodorata to be made by assay, but this was done 
to secure the competition against any disadvantage through want 
of uniformity in strength. The liquor opii compositus is always 
made of the strength indicated in the officinal tinctura opii, or 
laudanum, if the laudanum be made of good powdered opium as 
it should be. Such laudanum always contains at least four 
grains of morphia, which is equivalent to about five grains of 
crystallized sulphate of morphia in each fluidounce. Since 1867 
they have been placed side by side upon all the price lists issued 
by the writer, and until recently with notes fairly setting forth 
the characteristic points of each. Diligent inquiries have been 
made in regard to the comparative value of the preparations, 
and whenever these inquiries have been answered the preference 
,has been given to the compound solution. The sale of both has 
;increased steadily year after year, but the sale of the compound 
solution has increased much more rapidly than that of the de- 
odorized tincture, and is now more than ten times greater. The 
regular and steady increase in the demand for the compound so- 
lution during the past eleven years having now increased its 
production in the writer's hands to over eight hundred pounds a 
year ; and the probability that many pharmacists make it for 
themselves, induces him to undertake a revision of the formula, 
in order to remove some objections to the present formula, which 
appear to have been established on good grounds. 

The first and principal objection to the present formula is that 
the odor and taste of ether is disagreeable to most persons, and 
to many nauseating and hurtful. The increasing use of ether as 
an angesthetic, and the nausea, vomiting, and natural disgust 
produced by it when so used, and the frequent necessity for an 
anodyne after anaesthesia, renders it of some importance that 
the anodyne should not contain the agent which has excited the 



nausea and disgust, but should rather contain some corrective or 
corrigent to this tendency to nausea. The compound spirit of 
ether was used in the preparation chiefly as a preservative agent, 
to prevent change in the solution, but also to have whatever 
effect it might, in so small a proportion (3 minims in 24), in fa- 
vorably modifying the action of the opiate. Dr. Physick and 
many other excellent authorities had the habit of associating the 
true Hoffman's anodyne (made with heavy oil of wine) with their 
opiates, and the habit was confirmed by their observation of the 
effects obtained. It, however, could not be introduced into the 
compound solution of opium in sufiicient quantity to be very 
effective, even as an adjuvant, and it is therefore highly proba- 
ble that its chief agency has been that of a preservative against 
change in the preparation, and therefore that it mig*ht be re- 
placed by some other preserving agent, even if objectionable 
only in a small proportion of the cases in which it is used, with- 
out altering the intrinsic character or value of the preparation. 

The second objection to the compound solution of opium was 
that when long kept in a bottle only partially full, particularly 
when thus kept in warm climates, or in a warm place in a dis- 
penser's store, it would gradually lose the odor of ether, and 
assume that of acetic ether. This change was rarely completed 
in less than two or three years, but numerous instances have 
been met with where every trace of both ether and heavy oil of 
wine odor had disappeared. Such specimens, when carefully 
tried, were found to possess their full original anodyne and 
hypnotic value, and gave to some good observers the impression 
or conviction that the acetic ether thus spontaneously generated 
was an improvement upon that which it replaced. Through 
watching this suggestion during the past two years, and reading 
somewhat upon the uses of acetic ether in continental Europe, 
where it is occasionally prescribed, the conclusion has been 
reached that even in small quantities it has a pleasant stimulant 
effect, and that its odor and taste are refreshing and agreeable 
to a large majority of people, or indeed to almost all. And 
finally, that if medicinal at all, it is so to nervous susceptible 
persons, and always in the direction of favorably modifying the 
well known disagreeable effects of opiates. 


These are the two objections that are to be met, and, if possi- 
ble, removed, in the revision of the formula for compound solu- 
tion of opium. The much more forcible objection of a compli- 
cated formula, and a multiplicity of detail involving sufficient 
knowledge and skill to make a correct opium assay, can only be 
met by the arbitrary opinion or judgment, that he who cannot 
make such a preparation when lall the details are laid down step 
by step before him, is unfit to be trusted with the dispensing of 
medicines. It has been made, and skilfully made, by persons of 
only ordinary pharmaceutical acquirements ; and many have re- 
fused to make it from the insufficient reason that it involved too 
much pains and labor. As the essential points or supposed ad- 
vantages of the preparation, — namely, its uniformity of strength 
independent of the character or quality of the opium from which 
it is made, and its freedom from many, if not all of the useless 
and hurtful constituents of crude opium, whilst retaining the 
useful constituents in their natural combinations, — as these points 
are considered essential, are the only objects of the process, and 
can be attained in no better or more simple way known to the 
writer, this objection must stand with its full and acknowledged 
weight against the preparation, with the simple remark that in 
pharmacy, as in other arts, the best results are not often attaina- 
ble without commensurate skill and labor. 

So much for the revision of the formula, in regard to the ob- 
jections that have been justly raised against it. The next ques- 
tion that arises is, can it be therapeutically improved? And to this, 
within the knowledge and judgment of the writer, and of those ob- 
servant physicians with whom he is in frequent intercourse for 
counsel and advice, it must be answered that it probably cannot 
be materially improved in this respect. All opiates, no matter 
how made or how used, will disagree with many persons, and 
with some more than others ; whilst that opiate which is best 
borne by some sensitive persons may be badly borne by others. 
All opiates will constipate almost all persons under all ordinary 
circumstances, and will produce a nervous reaction proportionate 
to the initial action, or at least in proportion to the initial over- 
action or overdosing. Then as all derivatives of opium must in 
the nature of things partake of the character of opium somewhat 



in the relation of cause and elFect, it seems most rational to 
accept together some of those advantages and disadvantages 
which long observation has shown to be as inseparable as cause 
and effect, and to seek, rather, by combination with other known 
agents, or by the subsequent use of corrigents, to remedy the 
disadvantages in those cases where these are of sufficient import- 
ance to demand medication. It is nevertheless now pretty well 
established, not only that some opiates disagree less than others 
with sensitive persons, but that some opiates are more generally 
acceptable and beneficial, and less disturbing than others, and 
this for reasons of two kinds : First, by excluding some of the 
disturbing agencies of the opium, and second, by more or hiSS 
skilful combinations with corrigents. All that can be safely said 
of the past career of this liquor opii compositus is that it dis- 
agrees with a smaller number of sensitive persons, both in its 
primary and secondary effects, than most other preparations of 
opium, and that it is more pleasant in its effects than other 
preparations of opium, or the salts of morphia, in a very con- 
siderable proportion of cases, if not generally. 

In the deliberate thought and attention given to this prepara- 
tion during the past few years in connection with its increasing 
usefulness, it has sometimes seemed doubtful whether the simple 
depurated watery solution of opium adjusted by assay, and mixed 
with one-fifth or one-sixth of its weight of alcohol to preserve it 
from change, would not be the best practical form in which to 
offer it for therapeutic application. Such a preparation would 
be called simply liquor opii, and may be made by the formula to 
be given. This would leave all attempts to modify, correct, or 
remedy the unpleasant effects of the opiate to the extemporary 
judgment of the physician, where perhaps they more appropri- 
ately belong, because they would be better adapted to individual 
cases, and would yield a preparation that might be used by 
hypodermic injection. 

This course would be now adopted in the revision of the for- 
mula, were it not that the disagreeable taste and smell, and the 
nauseating effects of opiates, are so objectionable to a large pro- 
portion of patients, and that physicians in general are not skilful 
in the use of corrigents, and therefore not unfrequently fall, or 



are led into practices which, to say the least, do not always tend 
to improve the therapeutic action of their remedies, — the use of 
sugar-coated pills, for example. It is therefore mainly to cover 
the taste and odor of the opiate, to render it more acceptable in 
delicate conditions of the stomach, and to give it a direction or 
tendency opposite to that of nausea, that a small proportion of 
acetic ether and purified chloroform are now introduced into it 
instead of the compound spirit of ether. If these new ingredi- 
ents have any important medicinal effect, it will surely be in a 
direction opposite to the natural nauseating and depressing effects 
of the opiate, and therefore they are safe, with a reasonable 
chance of being useful. 

Such good effects may well be expected from chloroform, and 
might be secured if the chloroform could be well introduced in 
larger proportion, for the following principal reasons, which have 
led the writer to use it in the formula. Soon after the internal 
use of chloroform was practised it was found to be sedative and 
hypnotic, or to have very much the same therapeutic effects now 
attributed to chloral, and was by some physicians associated with 
opiates, and particularly with the salts of morphia, with very 
good results in favorably modifying the action, and controlling 
the after effects, as nausea, anorexia, headache, depression, etc. 
It was, however, practically very difficult to get the two substan- 
ces in solution together within the limits of an ordinary dose 
without inconvenience from the pungency of the chloroform, and 
the best results were obtained from the clumsy and inconvenient 
plan of mixing them with thick syrup or honey. The burning 
effect of the chloroform upon the mouth, fauces and stomach, 
though of short duration, was objectionable, and thus the associa- 
tion of the two substances, though proved to be eminently ad- 
vantageous, never came into general use. It was, however, 
sufficiently used and appreciated to attract the attention of 
quackery, and the nostrum called " cblorodyne " was the result. 
It is often wonderful to see how squeamish and critical physi- 
cians and patients are to the disadvantages and inconveniences 
of legitimate extemporaneous mixtures, which, when served to 
them in the plausible tone of quackery, lose all their disadvan- 
tages, and come out afresh with sensational novelty. Chloroform 



associated with morphia salts forms the therapeutic basis of the 
nostrum " chlorodyne," and the extraordinarily incongruous and 
irrational mixture of molasses, peppermint, capsicum, cannabis, 
hydrocyanic acid, perchloric acid, and all the others, if there be 
more, forms a mere vehicle and blind for the attempted secretion 
of this old and valuable combination. When, however, it came 
out in this new dress, at the call of the tin trumpet of quackery, 
many physicians in the very cities where the extemporaneous use 
of the combination originated became loud in its praise, and 
their patients found no diflSculy in swallowing it at double price. 
Through the now waning use of this "chlorodyne " and its nu- 
merous imitations, many physicians, and some of them without 
being yet aware of it, have been again taught, on a larger scale, 
that there is a value in the association of chloroform with their 
opiates for internal use. But to realize the best effects of this 
combination the chloroform must be in the proportion of about 
one fluidrachm to the grain of morphia salt, or about eight or 
ten minims to the ordinary dose. This makes a mixture which, 
though not too pungent for many uses, is so rarely needed as to 
be objectionable for common use. 

These considerations led the writer to adopt purified chloro- 
form as an ingredient in the new formula for liquor opii com- 
positus, and a series of experiments was undertaken to determine 
how much chloroform could be introduced, and still have the 
solubility or miscibility of the preparation in water secured. This 
proportion was found to be unexpectedly small, even when the 
solution was made to consist of one-half its volume of alcohol, 
thereby taking the character of a tincture rather than a solution. 
One minim in twenty-five, or one-twenty-fifth of its volume, was 
found to be the maximum quantity of chloroform which would 
be permanently held in solution when the twenty-five minims of 
the preparation was dissolved in one fluidrachm of water or 
more. This solution when made with a fluidrachm of water was 
considered a little too near to the boundary line of precipitation 
of the chloroform, and a little too pungent or biting for common 
use, and therefore the proportion of chloroform was reduced to 
one minim in thirty minims of the finished preparation, and the 
whole formula as finally determined upon was as follows : 


Depurated, assayed solution of opium, 14 minims, 
(Equal to one-third of a grain of sulphate 
of morphia.) 

Stronger alcohol, 13 minims. 

Purified chloroform, 1 minim. 

Acetic ether, s. g. 0*880, 2 minims. 

Maximum dose, 30 minims. 

In the very full dose of 25 minims there will be, — 
Of the opium solution (equal to about one- 
quarter of a grain of sulphate of morphia), 11-67 minims, 
Stronger alcohol, 10-83 " 

Purified chloroform, '83 " 

Acetic ether, 1-67 " 


In the average adult dose of 20 minims there will be, — 
Of opium solution (equal to about one-fifth of 

a grain of sulphate of morphia), 9*33 minims, 

Stronger alcohol, 8'67 " 

Purified chloroform, -67 " 

Acetic ether, 1-33 " 


This preparation, when dropped from a common one-ounce 
vial, gives about eight hundred and twelve drops to the 
fiuidounce ;* or about one and seven-tenths (1*7 drops) 
drops to the minim. Therefore thirty-four drops is about 
equal to twenty minims. Thirty drops is perhaps the more com- 
mon usage as the ordinary adult dose, while twenty -five drops is 
often sufficient for adult females, or even adult males who are 
susceptible to opiates. 

It is occasionally required in double, or even in three times 
the maximum dose as above given, and then will of course con- 

^ The first two fluidrachms dropped from full bottle, 190 drops. 
The second two " 176 " 

The third two " 201 « 

The fourth two " 246 « 



tain twice or three times the quantities, equal to two-thirds or 
9ne and one-third grains of sulphate of morphia. These doses 
are, however, under ordinary circumstances poisonous ; and it is 
always best with this, as with all other opiates, to give them in 
judiciously timed divided doses until the object or indication is 
nearly accomplished, and then stop. 

When opiates are given incautiously in large doses, they often 
seem to meet the indications to their use with a shock or con- 
cussion, overwhelming all the powers ; and in proportion as this 
impression is profound and continued, and in proportion as it 
over-reaches the desired object, in the same proportion is the 
subsequent reaction, producing depression, anorexia, nausea, 
headache, constipation, etc. Now in medicine, as in mechanics, 
it would be irrational to expect to control a reaction independent 
of control of the initial action, and therefore opiates are not 
justly chargeable with the results of this not uncommon misuse. 
On the other hand, however, it is necessary to avoid the very 
small doses which serve only to stimulate and excite the sensori- 
um ; and therefore no direction for dosing can be given that will 
be more than usefully suggestive to common sense and good 
judgment, acting upon a clear conception of just what is required 
to be done, and how easy it is to overdo this. 

The plea for assayed preparations in medicine and pharmacy, 
in order to attain some degree of accuracy and uniformity in 
therapeutic practice and results, is well illustrated in the instance 
of opium. It is well understood that hardly any two lumps in a 
case of ordinary opium yield the same proportion of the useful 
alkaloids, and that the different lumps have as great a variation 
as from five per cent, in some, to ten or eleven per cent, in 
others. It is also well known that by the escape of moisture the 
proportion of alkaloids is constantly varying until the opium is 
quite dry. It is also well known that opium is not the concrete 
juice obtained by incision from the unripe heads of Papaver 
somniferum, but is a varying proportion of this juice mixed with 
a heterogenous mass of foreign matter in a more or less solid 
condition, and that the productive or unproductive seasons, and 
the variations and speculations in price, have an influence in the 
yield of the alkaloids and also in the amount of foreign matters 



admixed. If there be any who believe that the opium of the 
markets is wholly, or even in greater part, constituted of the 
juice of the capsule obtained by incision as described by the 
books, it is only necessary for them to divide the whole number 
of the population of the part of Asia Minor which produces 
opium, into the number of pounds which constitutes a crop, to 
prove that it is impossible for any such number of people to col- 
lect any such quantities in any such way. It is also known that 
there are different grades of quality in opium, which may be 
judged by the appearance ; and different grades of quality which 
cannot be judged by the appearance, no matter how expert the 
judge may be. Crude opium, to be officinal, must contain " at 
least 7 per cent, of morphia." Then this crude opium in drying 
loses an average of 20 per cent, of moisture. Therefore dried 
or powdered opium made from crude opium which is just within 
the officinal minimum limit and no better, will contain 8*75 per 
cent, of morphia. 

The writer has recently seen a small lot of opium that, when 
dried, yielded a powder containing nearly 15 per cent, of mor- 
phia, and knows from actual observation that by appearance, on 
very critical inspection, it could not be distinguished from an- 
other lot which, under the same management, yielded only 12 
per cent. ; and yet there was only a difference of about $1.50 or 
less per pound in the price. 

Beside this, opium being a mixture made up for price and 
profit at the place of production,'and being of limited production, 
but of almost unlimited demand, has of late years assumed the 
character of a manufacture rather than a natural product ; and 
its practical standing in the markets to-day in regard to its di- 
lutions and adulterations at the place of original production is 
not very different from that of woolen goods in regard to shoddy. 
Hence the better grades of opium, like the better grades of wool- 
ens, are produced in comparatively small quantities for the com- 
paratively small demand at higher prices, and these grades, 
naturally enough, fall into the hands of the makers of morphia 
salts, where intrinsic value is closely studied in the interests of 
pecuniary gain. 

Again, so localized and so limited is the production of the 



valuable varieties of opium, and so wide-spread and insatiable 
the demand for opium, — four-fifths of it, at least, being probably 
consumed as an intoxicant, — that a " ring of speculators could, 
and did form a "pool " last year, and so controlled the product 
and the markets as to run the price up to more than double, and 
during one period to about three times the ordinary cost, and to 
maintain such prices for nearly the entire crop, with such signal 
pecuniary success as to warrant the prediction of future similar 
speculations. Indeed, at this moment opium is again on the 
rise, with the possibility, if not the probability, that it is again 

cornered " by a " ring." All this will probably have the very 
natural effect of stimulating the production ; but the production 
will be stimulated in two ways : not only to cultivate more pop- 
pies and make more juice, but also to make more opium from the 
juice, — that is, debase it still farther in the manufacture, just as 
wool is made to go farther when the supply is short of the de- 
mand, and the price consequently high. 

Now if these statements and deductions be true, and have any 
value in or any bearing upon medicine and pharmacy, they indi- 
cate one thing, and teach one lesson which is optional with us to 
learn or not, and that is, that the comparatively small portion of 
opium which is used in legitimate medicine and pharmacy should 
be used only by assay ; and that such opium and its preparations 
should be, by assay, brought to a definite uniform medicinal 
strength. But from the variation in the various lumps of opium 
of the same case it is manifestly impossible, or at least impracti- 
cable, to assay it with useful accuracy in the crude moist condi- 
tion. It must be either dried and powdered, and the powder be 
assayed, or it must be extracted, and the extract be assayed. 
Opium, then, is an exception to the rule which teaches all care- 
ful physicians and pharmacists never to buy drugs in powder. 
And yet, unless assayed, it is the most unsafe of all drugs to 
buy in powder. No plan is so good or so safe as to dry and 
powder the opium, and then assay the powder by extracting 
that ; because, if carefully dried and powdered without too much 
heat, the quantity and quality of the useful alkaloids are not 
materially altered, whilst a large proportion of the useless and 
embarrassing extractive matter is rendered insoluble in the dry- 



ing and powdering process. Beside, it is only by drying and 
powdering that a homegeneous product is obtained, every part of 
each package of which represents the whole. If a physician or 
pharmacist buys a pound of powdered opium, the assaying of 
150 grains or so of this will indicate the quality of the whole. 
But if he buys a lump of crude opium and assays any part, or 
even two or three parts of it, the assay may not, and in all 
probability will not, represent the whole. He may make the 
whole lump into a strong tincture or solution by extracting it, 
and assay a portion of this solution or tincture, with the same 
ultimate result, but the assay is then less simple and more 

This then is the chief, though not the only merit claimed for 
this liquor opii compositus, that it is made by assay, and there- 
fore of practically uniform strength, entirely independent of the 
quality of the opium from which it is made. 

This process of assay is not a highly critical scientific process 
which gives account of every tenth, or even every quarter of a 
per cent, of the useful alkaloids contained in the opium, but the 
aim is simply to come within one per cent., or thereabout, of the 
medicinal value and efficacy of different parcels of opium in its 
power to produce sedation, and to relieve pain in disease. Whilst 
a critical morphiometrical assay, or an analysis of opium, is one 
of the most difficult processes within the writer's knowledge, and 
probably has never been once attained in his thirty years' expe- 
rience, a practically useful and sufficient process, by various 
methods, is so simple and easy as to be within the capacity of 
any person who is at all fit to be trusted with the handling of 
potent agents in their application to medicine. The first steps 
of that simple process of assay which is preferred by the writer 
are those by which the solution of opium which characterizes this 
liquor opii compositus is depurated, or freed from extraneous 
matters, whether these be hurtful or simply useless. And this 
is the second and only other important merit claimed for the 
preparation. By rejecting much of the resinous, gummy, 
nauseous, and otherwise hurtful constituents of the heterogeneous 
mixture called opium, a real practical advantage is obtained ; 
whilst the retaining the useful alkaloids in their natural combi- 



nations, associated with only that part of the coloring matter 
and extractive which, like the useful alkaloids, are soluble in 
both water and alcohol, and insoluble in ether, must be con- 
sidered as important advantages. Hitherto the preparation has 
been an aqueous one, or at least contained only one-eighth of 
its volume of the mixture of alcohol, ether, and heavy oil of wine. 
But it is now so doubtful whether there is any real advantage in 
this, that the point is abandoned in order to secure the perma- 
nent solution of the chloroform by largely increasing the propor- 
tion of alcohol. Hereafter the preparation will contain about 
half its volume of stronger alcohol, — that is, will be of about the 
same alcoholic strength as the officinal tincture of opium. This 
materially disturbs and diminishes the appropriateness of the 
name, since " liquor " is commonly accepted to mean an aqueous 
solution, whilst " tincture "is as commonly accepted to mean 
an alcoholic solution. All good authorities, however, apply the 
word " tincture " in a technical sense to solutions where the 
solvent is only half alcohol, or even less. The name, however, 
cannot now be wisely changed, and the only circumstance which 
supports its equivocal appropriateness is that the large propor- 
tion of alcohol is not present as a solvent of the opium products, 
nor as a vehicle, since the water performs both these parts, but 
merely as a preservative agent, and as a solvent and protector 
for the chloroform and acetic ether ; and it therefore may be 
construed to enter into the nomenclature with its more intimate 
associates under the word " compositus," as one of the compound- 
ing ingredients. 

The preparation may perhaps not unfairly be criticised as un- 
stable, from the great volatility of both the acetic ether and 
chloroform, since these will have a tendency constantly to escape 
from it during use. But when it is remembered that these are 
not essential to its primary medicinal efficacy, and that if entirely 
evaporated out the medicine would be but one-tenth stronger, 
the criticism will not have much force. A much more forcible 
objection to the preparation is often made in regard to its costli- 
ness. This objection cannot be satisfactorily met, and need not 
be attempted, since those who do not recognize the necessity or 
the value of the time, labor and skill involved in it, and are not 


willing to pay a liberal profit upon these as invested in it, of 
course should not make or use it, — and will not, no matter what 
might be said in attempted justification of the cost. Upon an 
average it will represent about one-tenth of its weight of pow- 
dered opium ; and it will not remunerate the maker unless it 
yields him about two and a half or three times the cost of that 
proportion of the best powdered opium. 

It happens that the useful constituents of opium are all solu- 
ble in both water and alcohol, and are insoluble in ether ; whilst 
a very large portion of the useless and hurtful constituents are 
insoluble either in water or in alcohol, or when soluble in both 
are also soluble in ether. Taking advantage of these circum- 
stances the opium is subjected to the action of these solvents 
in succession, the successive residues being rejected, and the re- 
sulting extract is diluted to form the depurated solution. A 
small portion of this is assayed, and the result of the assay is 
applied, by multiplication to the whole, and this is then diluted 
to a definite degree by the addition of the other ingredients and 
water. Merely to state this general plan or outline of the pro- 
cess without the detail necessary to put it in practice would be 
of no use, and would really defeat the object of this paper, 
since that object is not more to convince the reader of the ne- 
cessity for such a preparation, than to teach him a good practi- 
cal way of making it for himself, and perhaps, also, to ofi'er what 
may be a useful lesson in practical pharmacy. Beside,where broad 
and apparently exaggerated statements are made in any particu- 
lar interest there is always room for suspicion of advertising ; and 
the cause for suspicion is strengthened when any reserve can be de- 
tected, or when any link or point is missing in what should be 
clear inductive detail. It oftens happens to the writer, in read- 
ing what at first sight appears to be a plain open and sufficient 
detail of a process, to have his suspicion aroused by a missing 
link or an ambiguous sentence, and therefore the casual reader 
must excuse any prolixity in detail that may appear unnecessary 
in giving the following formula and process, since this prolixity, 
at least, is not caused by having something to conceal. 

In giving the formula and process in the U. S. P. officinal 
weights and measures, nearly or practically accurate equivalents 



of the metrical or decimal system of weights and measures are 
also given because they will be found very convenient to some 
operators, and because it will serve to familiarize those who read 
them with the values in this system which is coming into use. 
Take of powdered opium, 1543 grains or 100 grammes. 

Stronger ether. 

Purified chloroform, 

Acetic ether, 

Stronger alcohol, 

Water, of each a sufiicient quantity. 
Put the powdered opium in a suitable vessel of not less than 
25 fj. or 750 cc. (cc. cubic centimetre, — 30 cc. to the f^.) mix 
it thoroughly with 20 f^. or 600 cc. of water, and allow the 
mixture to macerate over night. The water should be added to the 
powder in small portions with active stirring until a uniform 
smooth paste is made. The remainder is then added at once 
and the whole well stirred. A strong stirrer with a spatula- 
shaped, or spade-shaped end is almost indispensable to the 
convenient management of this process throughout. It is better 
to use this large proportion of water at the outset, because it 
enables the air to separate easily and well from the powder, and 
thus much improves the effect of the subsequent percolations ; — 
because it forms a solution so dilute as not to be precipitated by 
subsequent admixture with the weaker percolates ; and because 
it very much facilitates the final exhaustion of the residue. The 
powder continues to absorb the water, and the mixture to 
diminish in volume for several hours after the mixing. 

Take two 9 inch or No. 22 round filters, fold them separately 
twice in the usual way for plain filters, and open them in the 
usual way, with one thickness of paper on one side and three 
thicknesses on the other. Then introduce one folded filter into 
the other in such a way that the three thickness side of each 
shall coincide with the one thickness side of the other. This 
double filter will then have four thicknesses of paper all round, 
and its eff*ect in percolation is much improved by conducting off 
the liquid with uniformity in all directions. Place this double 
filter not too low down in a 5 inch or 12 centimetre funnel, and 
wet it well by filling the filter and funnel with water for a few 



moments. Empty and drain the funnel and filter and place 
them on a proper funnel stand. Arrange a 16 f^ or 480 cc. 
tared capsule or evaporating dish upon a water bath over a gas 
flame or other sufficient source of heat, and heat the water in 
the bath to boiling. Place the funnel stand so that the point of 
the funnel is over the capsule on the bath, and then having 
stirred up the opium mixture well, fill the filter from it, very 
nearly up to its edge, and continue to refill it occasionally until 
the whole of the mixture has been poured in. When the residue 
in the filter is drained, measure off 6 f^. or 180 cc. of water, 
and rinse the vessel which contained the opium mixture two or 
three times with small portions of this water, dissolving off, or 
loosening whatever may have become adherent to the vessel by 
drying, by means of the stirrer, and pour the rinsings one after 
another into the top of the residue in the filter. Then keep the 
filter filled up with the remainder of the water until it has all 
been poured on, and again drain the residue. Then return the 
residue from the filter to the vessel in which the mixture was 
made, by the use of the spade-ended stirrer, leaving the filter 
as clean as possible, and unbroken in its position. To the resi- 
due add 1*67 f^. or 50 cc. of water, stir it well into a smooth 
magma, and pour it back into the filter, draining and scraping 
as much of it out the vessel as practicable. Level it down in 
the filter, or rather so spread it out against the side of the filter 
as to leave the surface concave. Then measure off 5 f^. or 
150 cc. of water, and rinse the mixing vessel with small portions 
of this at a time until the vessel is clean, pouring the successive 
rinsings into the concave surface of the residue in the filter, and 
keep the filter filled up with the remainder of the water until it 
is all poured on. When the residue is drained, the filters and 
residue may be removed from the funnel, be flattened a little 
upon a folded newspaper, be put to dry, and when as thoroughly 
dried as the powdered opium was, may be weighed if desirable. 
In weighing, the outside filter is to be removed and placed in 
the weight scale to counterbalance the other one, or, if a nice 
weighing of the residue be desired, the inside filter must be 
weighed and the weight marked on it with lead pencil before it 
is used. The dry residue from good powdered opium weighs 



about 736 grains or 47'7 grammes. If it be not desired to weigh 
the residue it is simply thrown away. If the water bath be 
well arranged, the evaporation of the percolate will be as rapid 
as its passage through the filter, even if a pretty thick porcelain 
dish be used. But if a tinned iron or tin capsule be used, the 
rate of evaporation will exceed that of the filtration, and the 
capsule will never get more than half full during the process. 
Stirring is not needed during the evaporation. The filtration 
and evaporation require from two to three hours. When the 
residue is drained and disposed of, set the hot capsule and con- 
tents on a scale, weigh them and subtract the tare of the cap- 
sule. It will commonly happen that the extract weighs less 
than the original weight of the powdered opium ; if so, add 
water to it until it weighs the 1543 grains or 100 grammes. 
Then return the capsule to the water bath and warm the con- 
tents with stirring until the whole of the extract which has dried 
upon the capsule is entirely redissolved. Set the capsule on 
the scale and again add water to make up the loss by evapora- 
tion during this dissolving the extract. Return the capsule to 
the water bath again, and add to the contents 6 f^. or 180 oc. 
of stronger alcohol, stir the mixture till it is uniform, and 
heat it to boiling. Clean the vessel used for the first mixture of 
the opium and water, and put into it 12 fg. or 360 cc. af stron- 
ger alcohol, and while stirring this actively paur slowly into it 
the contents of the capsule. Rinse the capsule with 1 fS. or 30 
cc. of stronger alcohol, and add the rinsings to the main, portion.. 
Then cover the vessel to prevent unnecessary loss of alcohol 
by spontaneous evaporation, set it aside for 12. hours, or, over, 
night, and then pour off the clear alcoholic solution from the solid . 
tarry residue. The first portion of alcohol added; to the warm 
watery extract in the capsule is not suSicien,t to. cause a precipi- 
tate, but is intended only to so dilute the extract as to render 
the after precipitation more perfect. The- pouring, of the con- 
tents of the capsule into the alcohoi causes- an immediate pre- 
cipitation of a black tarry matter which collects upon the stirrer 
and vessel ; but the solution does not become clear at once^. 
That is, the precipitation is not complete for several hours. The 
first extraction of the opium by water rejects all, the solid mat- 




ters, all the resinous matter, much of the narcotin, and in short 
everything not soluble in water. But the gummy mucilaginous 
matter and nearly all the coloring matter is soluble in water, 
and forms a large and embarrassing portion of the watery ex- 
tract. All the gummy matter and much of the coloring matter 
are insoluble in strong alcohol, and these constitute the black 
tarry matter precipitated when the watery extract is diluted and 
poured into the alcohol. This is the putrescible, fermentable 
portion of the extract, and its proportion varies greatly with 
the quality of the opium, being rarely less than 10 or 11 per 
cent, and rarely greater than 18 per cent. This tarry precipi- 
tate contains a small proportion of the useful alkaloids, entan- 
gled and carried down Avith it, and the larger the proportion of 
this tarry matter the more of the useful alkaloids it will contain. 
In one instance it was found to contain 0-6 per cent, of the weight 
of the original opium of morphia. If the precipitation be well 
managed, however, and particularly if time be valuable, the 
tarry matter does not contain enough alkaloids to repay the ex- 
traction until this residue saved from several operations shall 
have accumulated. But whether worked singly or accifmulated 
they are dissolved in a little w^ater by warming, the solution di- 
luted with cold water until a filtered portion is no longer made 
turbid by farther dilution. The solution is then filtered oif and 
the filtrate evaporated on a water bath to the consistence of a 
very thin extract. About ten times its volume of stronger alco- 
hol is then added gradually, heated to boiling, set aside over 
night to again precipitate the now clean tarry matter, and then 
the alcoholic solution is poured off clear, and added to the 
larger portion of clear alcoholic solution poured off from the first 

The alcoholic solution is then put into a small tared still and, 
by means of a water bath, distilled until the alcohol is all over. 
By a good distillatory apparatus about four-fifths of the alcohol 
is thus recovered in a more dilute condition than when taken. 
This, by shaking with about one-eighth of its weight of powdered 
quick lime and redistilling, is again fit for the same use. 

To the extract of opium in the tared still, after distilling off 
the alcohol, add suJQScient water to make up the weight to 1543 


grains or 100 grammes, or the original weight of the opium, and 
warm it in the water bath until the extract is completely dis- 
solved. Then pour this solution into an eight ounce bottle, and 
rinse the still with a few drops of water, adding the rinsing to 
the contents of the bottle. When the bottle and contents are 
cold pour on to the diluted extract 3 f^. or 90 cc. of stronger 
ether, stop the bottle well, shake it vigorously, allow it to stand 
a few moments till the ether separates, and pour this off as 
closely as is possible with care. Pour on 3 f|. or 90 cc. more 
ether, again shake vigorously, and pour it off as closely as possi- 
ble. Repeat this washing with ether a third time, when the 
accumulated washings will measure about 8 to 8*5 f^. or 240 to 
255 cc. Put this into the still and distil it to dryness in a water 
bath with great care, remembering the inflammability of the 
ether vapor. In this way about 7 f^. of 210 cc. of the ether 
may be recovered in a condition to be used again for the same 
purpose. The residue from the ether washings varies very much 
in different parcels of opium, but may average about 1 per cent, 
of the weight of the opium. It is always a mixture of dark 
oily matter of a nauseous disagreeable odor, and a mass of solid 
matter which is amorphous or crystalline according to the rate 
of evaporation and the amount of heat used. By spontaneous 
evaporation large square tabular crystals are formed. Pour the 
diluted extract of opium, with the shallow stratum of ether 
which could not be poured off, from the bottle into the evapora- 
ting dish, and by means of the water bath evaporate it to about 
one half its volume. Put 10 fg. or 300 cc. of water into 
the cleansed vessel first used for mixing the opium and water, 
and pour into this the contents of the evaporating dish, rinsing 
the dish with a little water, and adding the rinsing to the larger 
portion. This dilution produces another insoluble precipitate, 
but one which is loose and flocculent and easily washed on a 
filter. At this point it is necessary to decide whether the solu- 
tion is to be made up or finished by weight or by measure, 
though it may be done by both, the weight answering as a check 
upon the measure, and vice versa. As it is always given by 
measure, (drops or minims) and has its formula constructed upon 
minims or volume ; — and as different parcels of opium yield the 



depurated solution of different densities, it would seem only 
proper to make it up bj measure. But the measures usually 
accessible are so much less accurate than the weights that they 
cannot be relied on. Beside, the broad surfaces of measures 
are not calculated to give that degree of practical accuracy re- 
quired now a days in adjusting potent medicinal agents. Under 
these circumstances measures and weights applicable to the aver- 
age grades of opium will both be given, even at the expense of 
complication. But the operator who may have a set of weights 
which agree tolerably among themselves is advised to use these 
in preference to measures. 

Take a tared flask marked in the neck to hold 17 f§, or 
510 cc, (a common French or German half litre flask which is 
marked Ioav in the neck answers well,) filter the opium solution 
into it, and wash the filter and residue through with a little 
water. To this solution add 1574 grains or 102 grammes of 
stronger alcohol, and, having agitated the mixture, add water 
until the whole weighs 7870 grains or 510 grammes. This 
1574 grains or 102 grammes of alcohol, measured at a tempera- 
ture of about 17° C. = 62-6° F., measures 4 f^ and 48 rn,, or 
123 cc, but when this is mixed with the watery solution there 
is a contraction of volume in the mixture equal to about 162 n^^, 
or 10 cc, and an increase of temperature of 3 or 4° C. = 5*4 or 
7 '2° F. When the mixture is made up to the 7870 grains or 
510 grammes it will measure more than the 17 f^, or 510 cc, 
on account of the rise of temperature. When, however, it is 
cooled to the original temperature at which the liquids were 
when mixed, the measure will commonly be but a small fraction 
over or under the measure, as the opium contains more or less 
extractive soluble in both water and alcohol. This 7870 grains 
or 510 grammes of solution now contains 20 per cent, of its 
weight and 30 per cent, of its volume of the stronger alcohol ; 
and is about the density of water, — that is 1 cc. at 17° C. 
weighs about 1 gramme. It is perfectly clear, and will remain 
so indefinitely, as it contains alcohol enough to prevent any 
change even in the warmest weather. It is now ready for assay, 
and should be kept in a bottle to prevent loss by evaporation 
while waiting for the result of the assay. 



The process of assay consists simply in precipitating the mor- 
phia from an aliquot part of this solution by means of ammonia, 
— drying and weighing the morphia, and applying the result, by 
multiplication, to the remainder of the solution, so as to ascer- 
tain the quantity of morphia which this contains. By this, of 
course, the farther dilution and adjustment are made. Although 
this process of assay does not pretend to be critically accurate, 
yet it will be so in proportion to the care and nicety with which 
the different steps are followed as now to be described ; and 
whilst without any extraordinary degree of skill it may be so 
conducted as to indicate within three or four tenths of a per 
cent, of the morphia value of the opium used, it can hardly be 
so mismanaged as not to come within one per cent, of the true 

Take one-seventeenth part, or 463 grains = 30 grammes, or 
about 1 f§, =30 cc. of the solution, and put it into a small tared 
capsule, and set the capsule in a saucer or plate which contains 
a shallow stratum of, or is about half filled with, water. Then 
make a mixture of equal parts of officinal water of ammonia 
and stronger alcohol, and take of this mixture about 77 grains or 
5 grammes, or 5 cc, rather more than less, — and add it to the 
contents of the capsule. Stir the mixture and then cover the 
capsule with a large beaker or other glass vessel, inverted so 
that the edge of the beaker or vessel rests on the saucer or plate 
in the water, and allow the whole to stand at rest during two 
days or thereabouts. If there be no alcohol added to the water 
of ammonia, it will sometimes precipitate a portion of the mor- 
phia at once, and with it an undue proportion of coloring matter. 
When diluted with alcohol and in a somewhat alcoholic solution 
the morphia goes down gradually and slowly in the form of a 
crystalline crust of a chestnut-brown color, which adheres to 
the bottom and sides of the capsule. The precipitation is gen- 
erally complete in 24 hours, often in 12 hours, but is occasion- 
ally retarded by unknown causes. It rarely increases after 48 
hours, however, and this period is fixed in order to render the 
result pretty secure. The quantity of ammonia used may vary 
considerably without materially affecting the result. The quan- 
tity indicated is quite enough for opium of the best quality, but 



it may be increased one-fourth, or even one-half without much 
disadvantage. The morphia thus precipitated is not pure, but 
contains coloring matter enough to give it a light brown, or a 
chestnut-brown color. The quantity of coloring matter present 
is, in weight, surprisingly small, and is fully counterbalanced 
by the small proportion of morphia which refuses to crystallize 
out. The results are therefore pretty accurate, or at least prac- 
tically accurate. If the little capsule with the assay be allowed 
to stand merely covered with paper or a watch-glass for the 48 
hours, some of the solution will evaporate away, and form a 
hard ring of dried extractive matter upon the capsule all round 
the edge of the liquid, and this would be subsequently weighed 
as morphia. A pellicle forms on the surface too, and in whole 
or in part remains in the capsule when the mother liquor is 
poured off. By the simple device of covering the capsule, and 
preventing all change of air by a water joint, as described, all 
this inconvenience is avoided. And beside, the water absorbs 
the vapor of ammonia as the excess of this precipitant is given 
off" from the solution, and diminishes this excess about as well 
as if the capsule was left exposed for it to fly off". At the end 
of the 48 hours the mother-liquor is poured olf clean from the 
adherent crust of morphia which lines the capsule, and the cap- 
sule is supported on edge upon some folds of bibulous paper for 
half an hour to drain. It is then put in a larger capsule on the 
water bath for an hour to dry, when it is ready for weighing. 
This weighing should be done on a scale sensitive to about the 
eighth or the fourth of a grain, and with good weights of course. 
The capsule and contents are weighed, and the tare or weight of 
the capsule is subtracted ; and the weight of morphia thus as- 
certained will be in proportion to the quality of the opium. If 
the powdered opium be within the officinal limit the morphia 
will weigh not less than 7*72 grains or 0-5 gramme, but it may 
weigh anywhere between this and say 15*4 grains or 1 gramme. 
Now as the whole of the solution represented the whole of the 
opium, and as one-seventeenth of the solution has yielded a 
quantity of morphia which is now known, it is only necessary 
to multiply this quantity by 17 in order to know what the whole 
solution would have yielded if precipitated in this way ; or to 



multiply it by 16 to know how much morphia the remaining 
sixteen-seventeenths of the solution contains. Suppose the 
morphia in the capsule to weigh 11-42 grains or 0'74 gramme. 
Then 11*42 x 17 = 194-14, and the 1543 grains of powdered 
opium taken contained 194-14 grains of morphia. Then, as 
1543: 194-14: : 100: 12-58 = the percentage of morphia in 
the opium. Or, it weighs 0-74 gramme. Then 0*74 x 17 — 
12-58, and the 100 grammes taken contained 12*58 grammes of 
morphia. Then, as 100 : 12-58 : : 100 . 12-58 the percentage 
of morphia in the powdered opium. But there is only sixteen- 
seventeenths of the solution remaining, and the other seven- 
teenth part in this supposed case has given 11-42 grains or 0*74 
gramme of morphia. Therefore, this quantity multiplied by 16 
would give 182-72 grains or 6-04 grammes as the whole quantity 
of morphia in the remainder of the solution. 

This is by no means the only process of assay well adapted to 
this purpose, and perhaps not the best one. Any of the ordinary 
morphiometrical processes are good enough, and here, as in most 
chemical processes, that one is best to which the operator is best 
educated, and with which he has most experience. A practice 
of nearly twenty years, growing out of the old Staples process 
for the extraction of morphia, has led the writer to place a good 
deal of confidence in this plan ; and though it does not pretend 
to critical accuracy, it is doubtful whether any process that is 
more complex, more difficult, or more critical, would bo adapted 
to the present condition of pharmacy. Pharmacy should not 
pretend to be chemistry, and results in this direction which 
may be far short of chemical accuracy would be an important 
advance for pharmacy. Simple and easy processes of assay are 
alone applicable to pharmacy, and the practice of such soon leads 
to greater accuracy in these first, and then to more accurate pro- 
cesses. This process of assay is easily applicable to powdered 
opium, and gives results the accuracy of which is proportionate 
to the dexterity with which it is applied. If a parcel of pow- 
dered opium is to be assayed by this process, it is only necessary 
to take 10 grammes = 154-3 grains, instead of 100 grammes = 
1543 grains, and then to divide the whole detail as given by 10. 
Indeed, the whole detail given is but the writer's process of assay 



for opium multiplied by 10, and to him it appears both simple 
and easy, and has often been verified by extractions of morphia 
on the large scale by various processes. 

Now it is probable that the average yield of morphia from good 
powdered opium now-a-days will not be over 10'5 to 11 per ct. 
And the officinal tincture, containing 1-25 troyounces or 600 
grains of such opium to the pint, would therefore contain 63 to 
66 grains of morphia to the pint. Hence 64 grains of morphia 
to the pint, or 4 grains to the fluidounce, is assumed as the stand- 
ard of strength of the officinal tinctura opii, or laudanum.* 

This assumed strength for the officinal tincture has always 
been used as the standard of strength for liquor opii compositus, 
and will continue to be so. 

It is therefore only necessary to divide the number of grains 
of morphia contained in the remaining sixteen-seventeenths of 
the depurated solution by 4, in order to obtain the number of 
fluidounces of 30 cc. each, to which the solution must be made 
up when finished for use. In the supposed case the 182*72, or 
say 183 grains, divided by 4, gives 45-75 fluidounces, or 1372 
c.c, as the measure for the finished solution. 

Now if it be desired to make the simple liquor opii, as suggest- 
ed on page 37, it is only necessary to add water and alcohol in 
the quantities indicated by the assay, keeping the proportion of 
alcohol as small as may be with safety. With one-sixth of its 
weight of alcohol the preparation would probably keep indefi- 
nitely, and could then be used by hypodermic injection. 

When the solution is to be made into liquor opii compositus, 
the proceeding is less simple. 

Thirty cubic centimetres or a fluidounce of the preparation, 
when carefully and accurately made on the basis given on page 
39, weighs from 28*95 to 29*05 grammes, or from 446*76 to 
448*30 grains, varying to this extent only when made from dif- 
ferent parcels of good, and only fair quality powdered opium. 
Twenty-nine grammes, or four hundred and forty-seven and a 

Morphia ("mo = 303) is to crystallized sulphate of morphia (1^^, 
SO3, 6HO.=379) as 303 is to 379 or thereabouts, and therefore 4 grains 
of morphia is about equivalent to 5 grains of crystallized sulphate of 



half grains, is therefore adopted as the standard weight of thirty- 
cubic centimetres, or one fluidounce of a properly made prepara- 
tion, measured at 17° G.=62'6 F. 

This would indicate the following composition or formula for 
each 30 c.c. or 1 fluidounce of liquor opii compositus : 

Depurated solution of opium containing, — 
4 grs. morphia, 14c.c.=15-047grms.,=232'17grs.=51-887p.c. 
Stronger alcohol, 13 c.c.-=10-686 =164-91 " =36'848 " 
Purif. chloroform, lc.c.= 1499 " = 2343 " = 5469 " 
Acetic ether, 2 c.c.-- 1-768 = 27-29 " = 6-096 

30c.c.=29-000 " =447-50 " =100-000 " 
When it shall have been determined by the assay how many 
fluidounces of the finished preparation the solution will yield, 
this number of fluidounces is to be multiplied by 447*5, or the 
number of grains in each fluidounce when finished, and the pro- 
duct will be the weight in grains of the finished preparation. 
¥his number of fluidounces multiplied by 164*91, or the number 
of grains of alcohol in each finished fluidounce, will give the 
weight in grains of the whole quantity of alcohol required. But 
a constant quantity of 1574 grains of the alcohol is required in, 
and has already been added to the watery solution before the 
assay, and therefore this quantity must be subtracted from the 
whole quantity required, and the remainder, only, must be taken 
for the final adjustment. This same number of fluidounces of 
the finished preparation multiplied by 23*13, or the number of 
grains of purified chloroform in each finished fluidounce, will give 
the whole weight in grains of chloroform required. The same 
number of fluidounces of the finished preparation multiplied by 
27-29, or the number of grains of acetic ether in each finished 
fluidounce, will give the whole weight in grains of acetic ether 
required. These calculations are really simple, and may be use- 
fully illustrated by continuing the supposed case taken to illus- 
trate the application of the assay. 

The 182-72 grains of morphia found to be in the remainder 
of the solution assayed (the 16 fluidounces or 480 c.c), divided 
by 4, gives 45-75 fluidounces or 1372 c.c. as the measure for the 
finished liquor opii compositus when it shall contain the required 



four grains of morphia in each fluidounce. Then 45*75 fluid- 
ounces multiplied bj 447*5 grains, the weight assumed for each 
fluidounce of the finished preparation, gives 20473*125 grains, 
which is the weight to which the solution must be made up in 
finishing it. Then 47*75 x 164*91 7544*63, which is the 
whole number of grains of alcohol to be contained in the finished 
preparation. But the constant quantity 1574 grains of alcohol 
has already been added before the assay, and therefore this must 
be subtracted from the whole quantity. Then 7544*63—1574 
=5970*63, which is the number of grains of alcohol still required 
to finish the preparation in this supposed case. 

This latter quantity is weighed into a tared bottle which will 
hold the entire finished preparation. 

Then 45*75 x23*13=-1058*20, which is the number of grains 
of purified chloroform required. This is weighed in any conve- 
nient vessel, and poured into the bottle containing the alcohol. 
Then 45*75x27*29=1248*52, which is the number of grains of 
acetic ether required. This is weighed in the vessel used for tke 
chloroform, and is also poured into the bottle with the alcohol. 
The bottle is then shaken to mix the contents, the assayed opium 
solution added, and the bottle again shaken. This remainder of 
the assayed opium solution weighed 7407 grains, and consisted 
of 5926*6 grains of watery solution and 1481*4 grains of alcohol. 
It originally weighed 7870 grains, and consisted of 6296 grains 
of watery solution and 1574 grains of alcohol, but 463 grains of 
the mixture (370'4 grains watery and 92*6 grains alcohol) was 
taken for assay. The bottle now contains of 

Assayed opium solution, 7407*00 grains. 
Remainder of the alcohol, 5970*63 " 
The chloroform, 1058*20 " 

The acetic ether, 1248*52 " 

Making, 15,684*35 " 

But it is required to weigh 20,473*125 grains, and this weight 
is to be made up with water. Therefore, 20,473 grains less 
15,684 grains gives 4789 grains as the quantity of water re- 
quired to complete the weight and finish the process. 

Leaving the completed illustration now, and resuniing the 



formula : Take a tared bottle of sufficient capacity to hold the 
finished preparation, and having weighed into it in succession 
the remainder of the alcohol required, the purified chloroform 
and the acetic ether, shake them together and then add the 
opium solution. Then set the bottle on a scale, and having 
carefully adjusted the weights to the required complete quantity, 
add water until this quantity be made up, and shake the mix- 
ture. Upon first adding the water the mixture becomes cloudy 
and suffers contraction and consequent rise of temperature, and 
if measured now, to control the weighing, the measure will be 
found plus. But after standing over night, the measure should 
be found pretty nearly accurate, if the measures used be good- 
The French litre and half-litre flasks, and a pipette graduated up- 
ward in cubic centimetres to 30 or 50 cubic centimetres, are not 
only extremely useful in this process, but also for many uses, 
and particularly for testing the accuracy of graduated measures. 

When the completed preparation is well shaken, the cloudiness 
disappears, and it gives a clear bright solution of a deep brown- 
ish or yellowish garnet color, and having a rather oily fluidity 
as it drains down the sides of a glass vessel. The taste is sweet, 
pleasantly aromatic and somewhat pungent at first, but soon 
passes to a peculiar, not intense bitterness — the bitterness being 
that of other opium preparations, but less intense, less disagree- 
able, and less persistent, and comparatively if not wholly free 
from the nauseous quality of the opium bitterness. The odor is 
a refreshing agreeable admixture of the acetous pungency of the 
acetic ether and the sweet pungency of the chloroform, and re- 
calls that of the vinaigrette smelling-bottle used as a restorative 
by the ladies. It is miscible in all proportions with alcohol, 
water, wine, syrup, etc., and is thus well-adapted to compound- 
ing in prescriptions. It is perhaps best given in water, the quan- 
tity of water being varied at pleasure, but generally limited to 
the smallest convenient quantity — say, a teaspoonful or a table- 
spoonful of ice water to each dose. When first mixed with water 
the mixture is cloudy, but this cloudiness is only momentary. 

The dilution, and the irritant action of the chloroform, acetic 
ether, and the large proportion of alcohol, interfere materially 
with its application by hypodermic injection. The old liquor 



opii compositus was badly adapted to this mode of administra- 
tion, but was still often so used. This new formula is, however, 
much less applicable to use in this way. It may, however, be 
rendered applicable in precisely the same way not unfrequently 
adopted with the old preparation, namely: by exposing a 
weighed small quantity at a time, in a shallow vessel in a warm 
place, until the weight is reduced to one-half or one-third. If 
reduced to one^hird, it will be about the strength of the solution 
of sulphate of morphia called Magendie's solution ; but it will 
then have too little alcohol to keep longer than a few weeks. If 
reduced to one-half, the chloroform and acetic ether and much 
of the alcohol will pass olf sufficiently, and yet leave enough 
alcohol to preserve it. If the alcohol be all or nearly all driven 
off, the effect of very dilute solutions of phenol, or the so-called 
carbolic acid, in protecting solutions for hypodermic use from 
change, may be resorted to. All solutions for such use should 
be perfectly clear and bright, either by settling or by filtration, 
and should be carefully guarded against decomposition, since 
many of the accidents which occur in hypodermic medication are 
probably caused by the introduction of liquids which are under- 
going change, or by inoculation from a badly kept or imperfectly 
cleaned syringe point. 

The compound solution of opium evaporated on a water bath 
to one-fourth its weight or less, then diluted to one-third its 
original weight with water, and, when cold, filtered, will give 
the best solution for hypodermic use. But the coloring and 
extractive matter is objectionable for this use. If such a solution 
is to be kept even for a few days (and no hypodermic solution 
should ever be kept long), it may be protected by the addition 
of about one-fiftieth of its weight of an alcoholic solution of phe- 
nol (crystallized carbolic acid) containing two per cent. 

In conclusion, it may be remarked in connection with this 
liquor opii compositus, as in regard to other agents which are 
liable to become hobbies, that perhaps the greatest skill in using 
it is to know when to prefer something else. 

BrooMyn, Dec, 15, 1869. 



By J. B. Moore. 

R. Powdered Opium, No. 50. 

Benzoic Acid, . . aa. sixty grains. 
Camphor, . . . forty " 
Oil of Anise, ... a fluidrachm. 
Clarified Honey, . . two troy ounces. 

Hot Water, temp*. 200°, aa. one pint. 

Diluted Alcohol, q. s. 
Pour the hot water upon the powdered opium in a covered ves- 
sel, stir well, and when sufficiently cool, transfer to a stoppered 
bottle, and macerate with occasional agitation for three hours ; 
then strain the infusion through muslin, with expression, mace- 
rate the residuum with the alcohol in a stoppered bottle, in like 
manner, for three hours longer, then strain and express as before. 
Mix the infusion and filter, and upon the drugs packed in a 
small glass percolator, pour gradually the filtered mixture, and 
when it has all passed, continue the percolation with diluted 
alcohol until two pints of tincture are obtained. 

Then dissolve the camphor in the oil of anise in a mortar, and 
to the solution add the benzoic acid and rub well ; to this add 
gradually the honey and rub until a smooth mixture is formed. 
Lastly, add this to the two pints of tincture first obtained, shake 
well and filter. 

This is an expeditious mode of making paregoric, and afi'ords 
a faultless preparation. When carefully manipulated, the 
opium is so thoroughly exhausted as to be deprived of taste. 

The mixed infusions are directed to be filtered before percola- 
tion, in order to remove the resin and caoutchouc taken up by 
the alcohol and which separate when the infusions are mixed, 
which, if not previously removed, somewhat embarrasses perco- 

The filtration and percolation can both be conducted at the 
same time, and the filtrate supplied to the percolator as it passes. 
When the tincture is prepared in the quantity of a gallon or 

62 ON Campbell's process for fluid extracts. 

more at a time, the increased bulk of opium can be more con- 
veniently adjusted in the percolator than when such small quan- 
tities are worked. 

The writer would state in this connection that, in his article 
on tincture opium, which appeared in the last number of this 
Journal, he omitted, in the first line of the directions to that pro- 
cesSj the following words : " in the hot water which should have 
followed ^'powdered opium.'' 

Philadelphia^ October^ 1869. 

B? George W. Kennedy. 

To THE Editor : 

Dear sir, allow me to make a few remarks on Campbell's pro- 
cess for fluid extracts. Being in a large house in this city in 
charge of the prescription department, and using hundreds of 
pounds of fluid extracts, at wholesale and retail, annually, until 
lately, all our stock of them was received from Northern houses. 
Not being satisfied with their quality, I suggested to the firm to 
make the fluid <3xtracts, in connection with the other business, 
which was agreed to. Among the objectionable fluid extracts 
was one of buchu, which could hardly be recognized by its odor, 
and when examined was found to yield but one-fourth of one 
per cent, of volatile oil, whilst the drug contains from three- 
fourths of one per cent to one and a half per cent., according to 
the variety. 

I think the time has come when every druggist should prepare 
the fluid and solid extracts he sells, to protect himself from 
worthless or inferior preparations, which are to be found in com- 
merce. The excuse is that too much time and trouble are 
required, but they would gain reputation and business two-fold 
by doing so. 

I first made 20 lbs. of fluid extract of buchu according to Mr. 
Campbell's process, and found it to be a very fine extract. The 
dregs left when percolated with alcohol of -835 sp. gr. did not 
show the presence of volatile oil or resin when water was added, 
and had no odor of buchu whatever. 



The next operation was 40 lbs. of fluid extract of wild cherry 
(cerasus serotina). This, I think, is the most troublesome of 
all the fluid extracts, and the result here was the same as with 
the buchu. I think the glycerin process should be used in mak- 
ing all the fluid extracts, and particularly in this one, for which 
it seems well adapted. 

The next substance treated was vanilla. I took an ounce of 
vanilla, cut it transversely into small pieces, rubbed it into pow- 
der with sugar, moistened it with a mixture of one part of gly- 
cerin and three of alcohol, and packed it into a conical glass 
percolator ; let it stand four days, and then percolated with a 
mixture of two parts of alcohol and one of glycerin, and one of 
water until a pint of liquid passed ; forming a very fine extract. 

I think the proportion of menstruum used to moisten in the 
resinous drugs, such as ginger, lupulin and podophyllum, is too 
great ; twelve fluid ounces being preferable, adding the balance 
after the four days maceration, and continue the percolation 
until the displacement is eff*ected. I never insert the cork ; 
using a piece of fine sponge in the neck of the percolator. 

Memphis^ Tenn., Nov. 5, 1869. 

By J. B. Moore. 

Ceratum Galeni, unguentum refrigerans, or cold cream, as it 
is more popularly known, is of more ancient origin than many 
would suppose, having been invented by that learned and dis- 
tinguished physician Claude Galen, who was born at Pergamus, 
in Asia Minor, A. D., 131. The formula of this popular ointment 
has undergone many transformations since its birth, more per- 
haps than that of any other preparation in our officinal list. In 
fact almost every one has his own peculiar way of making cold 
cream, and there are but few pharmacists who prepare this time- 
honored ointment by the same recipe. Besides the numerous 
formulas that have been published in the various pharmaceutical 
journals, I find collected together, in the Pharmacopoeia Univer- 
salis, edition 1833, from the various Pharmacopoeias of the 


world and other sources, not less than twentj-six. Nearly all 
of the old formulas contain lard as the base, a few have the 
addition of wax and suet. The first mention that I have found 
of the employment of the oil of sweet almonds and spermaceti, is 
in Coxe's American Dispensatory, edition 1831. In a note the 
author says : " Under the name of unguentum aqua rosse, the 
U. S, Pharm., and of Phil., direct two ounces of oil of almonds, 
half an ounce of spermaceti and one drachm of white wax, to be 
melted in a water bath ; and two ounces of rose water, to be 
stirred till the mixture is cold. The New York Pharm. has, 
we think, done well to discard such trumpery, at least under any 
supposition of the two ounces of rose water being medimial.'' So 
I presume that the present almost universal mode of making this 
ointment of oil of sweet almonds, spermaceti, etc., is the off- 
spring of our own Pharmacopoeia. 

The names by which this preparation has been designated are 
almost as various and numerous as the formulas offered for its 

As a matter of curiosity, and to show to those who are not 
already aware of it how this ointment was prepared in the days 
of ^ore, I will append a formula which I copy from an old and 
valued relic in the possession of the writer, a copy of an old 
London Dispensatory, edited by Nicholas Culpeper, published 
in the year 1650, and now nearly 220 years old. Judging from 
a survey of the contents of this book, I am forced to the conclu- 
sion that pharmacy at that period was really in its infancy. 
Many queer old formulas, with directions and observations by 
the author, couched in quaint and, now-a-days, ludicrous lan- 
guage and expressions, are to be found therein. 

I copy the formula, with the comments of the author, verbatim 
et literatim : 

" Unguentum refrigerans, Galenus. 

It is also called a cerecloath. 

Take of white wax four ounces, oyl of roses omphacine a 
pound ; melt in a double vessel, then powr it out into another, 
by degrees putting in cold water, and often powring it out of one 
vessel into another, stirring it till it be white ; last of all wash it 
in rose water, adding a little rose water and rose vineger. 



A. It is a fine cooling thing, (for what denomination to give 
it I scarce know) and exceeding good, yea super-excellent to 
cure inflamations in wounds or tumors." 

The above, I presume, is the original formula of Galen. 

I will now present a formula for cold cream which I have em- 
ployed for several years with unusual satisfaction. It affords 
an elegant ointment and of good consistency, of sufficient firm- 
ness in summer and not too hard in winter. It also possesses 
the desirable quality of keeping well at all seasons, I consider 
it greatly preferable to that prepared with rose water for popu- 
lar use ; and is also eligible as a substitute for the officinal ungt. 
aquae rosae for almost any purpose. Should the proportions given 
yield a preparation of too firm consistence in cold weather in 
some sections of the country, the quantity of wax may be less- 
ened. The quantity and kind of perfume may also be varied to 
suit the fancy. 

R 01. Amygdal, Dulc. f^ xss. 

Cetacei |iij 5vj. (Troy) 

Cerae Albae 5. x. 

01. Rosae gtt. vj vel gtt. x. 

Melt together, by means of a water-bath, the oil, spermaceti 
and wax, and strain through muslin if necessary ; stir constantly 
until it begins to thicken ; then beat it well, and when it has 
become quite cool add the oil of rose and continue the beating 
process till the oil is thoroughly incorporated and the ointment 
is of a snowy whiteness. Any stray portions that might un- 
avoidably harden upon the sides of the dish should be removed, 
and rubbed perfectly smooth upon an ointment slab, before ad- 
mixture with the rest. 

The true secret in making an ointment of this kind nicely, 
consists in stirring and beating it well while cooling. A little 
extra labor bestowed upon this part of the operation will be well 
spent, and amply repaid by the enhanced beauty and elegance 
of the product. 

A capacious porcelain evaporating dish should be employed, 
in which to prepare this ointment. 

Special care should be taken in the selection of the ingre- 
dients, and none but fresh, sweet and strictly pure should be 




used, and the use of the water-bath should never be omitted, as 
it precludes the liability of injury by heat. 

Some pharmacists add glycerin to their cold cream, but I 
cannot perceive any advantage whatever in its use, and as it 
has no affinity with the other ingredients, it does not make as 
smooth nor as handsome an ointment as can be made without it. 
And medicinally, I think, it adds nothing to the value of the 
preparation beyond the imagination. 

Philadelphia, Dec.^ 1869. 

By John Bell, M. D. 

Among the mineral springs of recent discovery which seem to 
be entitled to claim attention for their medicinal properties, we 
find the Adirondack. This spring derives its name from its 
flowing from the base of one of the spurs of the Adirondack 
mountains, in the town of Whitehall, and at the head of Lake 
Champlain, in the State of New York. The water may be re- 
garded as a saline chalybeate, and by French writers acidulous 
chalybeate, with a considerable quantity of free carbonic acid. 
After being at rest for a time it allows of a precipitate of a red- 
dish color, which disappears by shaking. It is without smell 
and any very marked taste. 

An analysis of Water of the Adirondack Mineral Spring, by 
Professor Collier, of Vermont University, Burlington, gives the 
following results : 

One Imperial Gallon of 70,000 grains. 

Sulphate of Lime, 11-134 grains. 

Carbonate of Lime, . ... . . 18'543 " 

Carbonate of Magnesia, ...^ . . | ... .. . 16*618 " 

Carbonate of Iron, . ,' ' : . . . , " . 5*040 

Carbonate of Manganese, . . ' ' . traces 
Carbonate of Potash, . . . '. ^ . . 5"317 " 

Carbonate of Soda, 5*135 " 

Carbonate of Lithia, -023 

Chloride of Sodium, . , , * . . 14*340 " 

Alumina, . . . " . \ . ' » . . traces 
Insoluble Residue, . . . . . . 7*42 " 

Free Carbonic Acid, 67*3 cubic inches. 



We see from the above analysis that the Adirondack is dis- 
tinguished from the general run of mineral waters by its con- 
taining a larger proportion of iron and the alkalies, potassa and 
lithia, all in the form of carbonates. In looking over the 
analyses of the different mineral springs of Europe, we find but 
two, Bourbon L'Archambault and Cransac, both in France, 
which can compete as chalybeates with the Adirondack potassa 
and lithia, which exist in appreciable quantity in the latter 
spring, are, in nearly all others, entirely absent, or exhibit traces 
only of their presence. We must except from this remark, as 
relates to lithia, its large proportion in some of the springs at 
Saratoga, and in two new artesian wells at Ballston.* 

Every newly discovered mineral spring must be regarded as 
an acceptable addition to our Materia Medica, and the Adiron- 
dack is presented to us as a medicinal agent, possessing marked 
curative powers in different diseases. Those in which it has 
been found most efiicacious are sub-acute and chronic rheuma- 
tism and affections of the kidneys and bladder ; after these come 
dyspepsia and certain cutaneous eruptions. Cases coming within 
my own observation and those kindly communicated to me by 
professional brethren of this city, confirm the statements of the 
medical gentlemen at Whitehall, and of other intelligent persons, 
going to show the very decided operation of this water as a 
diuretic, and under circumstances too in which the most ap- 
proved medicines of this class had failed to produce the desired 
effect. In nephritic calculi or gravel, complete relief has been 
obtained, and in two cases the water, to use the expressive 
language of one of my informants, "washed out" calculi, and 
at the same time freed the patient from discharges of bloody 
urine and mucus, and one of them from albuminuria. A case 
of obstinate rheumatism, in which the knee joint had been long 
affected, and the usual remedies tried without avail, yielded to 
the free and somewhat prolonged use of the water. That most 
troublesome, and so often unmanageable disease, diabetes melli- 
tus, has been not only arrested in its course, but cured, by 
drinking of the Adirondack water — on the testimony of Drs. 
Long, Gordon and Bennett, of Whitehall. Dr. Shumway, of 

* Chemical News, September, 1869. 



the same place, after having used it on himself, and watched the 
experience of its curative powers on others, dwells on its great 
value in diseases of the urinary organs, and adds, all chronic 
cutaneous eruptions, blotches on the face, including that in- 
tractable eruption acne punctata, have been entirely removed." 
With a knowledge of its actively diuretic operations it is easy 
to infer the adaptation of this water to dropsy, and to various 
forms of chronic derangement, including atonic dyspepsia and 
imperfect secretion from the liver. Its largely alkaline and 
chalybeate character would induce trials of it in heart-burn and 
water-brash, and in diarrhoea assuming a chronic form. Its 
efficacy has indeed been tested with success in the last of these 
diseases. In full doses the water acts, although not with any 
uniformity, as an aperient; but its apparently slight action in 
this way is accompanied by effects on the biliary secretion of a 
more decided character than would be produced by strong purga- 

The quantity of the water to be taken is a half pint tumbler- 
ful three times a day, in diseases of the kidneys and bladder, 
and when a laxative effect is desired. In skin affections, half a 
glass three times a day will suffice, and, at the same time, the 
water, made tepid, is to be applied externally. 

By William Procter, Jr. 

This "opium " was deposited by Dr. D. G. Plummer, in the 
exhibition of drugs, etc., at Chicago, in Sept. 1869. It was in 
the form of a block, two inches square and four or five inches 
long, of a dark greenish-brown color, narcotic odor, and soft 
uniform consistence, having much the appearance of a good nar- 
cotic extract. A section of this, weighing about an ounce, was 
presented to the writer, with the requst that it should be ex- 
amined. On inquiry as to the manner of obtaining this sub- 
stance, it was understood to be made by the process of Wilson, 
of Vermont opium notoriety, by expressing the juice from the 
whole plant, leaves, stalks, and capsules, and evaporating the 
juice to the proper consistence without any extraction of the 



special juice of the capsules by incision. It was hence inferred 
to be very meagre in alkaloids. 

Before the assay the sample had lost much moisture, was 
tough, nearly dry, and with a dark-brown resinoid fracture. 
Of this, 100 grains was rubbed down with a little water in a 
mortar to a smooth paste, more added and percolated in a funnel 
till the dregs were exhausted. The liquid was treated with 
lime, muriatic acid and ammonia, by Mohr's process, (noted in 
last volume,) and set aside for 24 hours. The precipitate col- 
lected in a filter, washed and dried, weighed 0'5 grain, much 
colored. This was treated with boiling alcohol, and the alcoholic 
solution evaporated, a minute yellowish white crystalline residue 
was obtained, which reacted like morphia with nitric acid and 
sesquichloride of iron. As this product did not represent more 
than one-fifth of one per cent., assuming it all to have been 
morphia, it is sufiicient evidence of the worthlessness of this so- 
called " opium," which is in reality merely extract of poppies. 

Phila., Dec, 1869. 

By J. B. Moore. 

Upon the advent of cold weather nearly every one feels the 
need of some preparation to apply to the face and hands, to 
prevent and cure chaps, roughness and irritation of the skin, 
caused by exposure to the cold during the winter and spring 
seasons of the year. Almost every apothecary has more or less 
demand for a remedy of this kind, and many include some appli- 
ance of this character among their specialties. Having what I 
consider a most excellent recipe for such a preparation, I here 
offer it for the benefit of those who wish to make such a prepara- 

tion, and have not already a better formula : 

R. Glycerin, f^iij 

Mucilage Quince Seeds, U. S. D., fgx 

Pulv. Cochineal, grs. v 

Hot Water, f^iss 

Deod. Alcohol, fgiiss 

Oil Rose, gtt. viij 

Pulv. Gum Arabic, oss 

Water, fsviij 



Rub the powdered cochineal first with the hot water gradually 
added, and then add the alcohol. Then triturate the oil of rose 
well with the powdered gum arabic, and gradually add the water 
as in making emulsion. With this mix well the solution first 
formed and filter, and to the filtered liquid add the glycerin and 
mucilage of quince seeds, and shake well. 

The mucilage of quince seeds should always be freshly made. 
If the alcohol is sweet and free from foreign odor, and the gly- 
cerin perfectly inodorous, a less quantity of oil of rose may suf- 

If care is taken in its manufacture, this will form a beautiful 
and elegant preparation, with a rich rosy fragrance. 

When applied to the skin it imparts an agreeably soft, smooth 
and velvety feel. It is an excellent application for the face after 

I have tried many similar combinations, but have never sold 
an article that has been so generally admired and so universally 
popular as this. 

Philadelphia, Bee, 1869. 


By John M. Maisch. 

The club moss, Lyeopodium clavatum, Lin., and two or three 
allied species of the same genus, grow in the temperate zone of 
the northern hemisphere, particularly in the northern half 
thereof. The Lyeopodium of commerce is mostly collected in 
the mountains of Switzerland and Germany ; that collected in 
Poland and Russia is usually less handsome in appearance, and 
is regarded as of inferior quality. 

The sporangia in the genus Lyeopodium are situated in the 
axils of the leaves. Two species indigenous to North America, 
Lyc. lucidulum, Mich., andiy?/6'. selago, Lin., have the sporangia 
scattered along the stem, and consequently ripen but few at a 
time, so that these species are unfit for the collection of the 
sporules. The other North American species, seven in number, 
have the sporangia collected in spikes. Two of these are rather 



too small for the collection of the sporules, namely : Lyc. inun- 
datum, Lin., which is common in the Northern States and Can- 
ada, and Lyc. alopeeuroides^ Lin., which is most abundant in the 
Southern States, 

Of the remaining five species Lyc. dendroideum, Mich., and 
Lyc. complanatum, Lin., are perhaps diffused over the greater 
area, while Lyc. OaroUmanum, Lin., is confined chiefly to the 
Southern States, and Lyc. clavatum and annotinum', Lin., are 
most abundand northward. 

In Europe lycopodium is collected indiscriminately from those 
species which yield the largest amount of sporules, and these of 
a size not exceeding those of the true club moss ; Lyc. clavatum, 
complanatum and annotinum are almost exclusively used. The 
spikes are collected during the months of August and Septem- 
ber, dried in suitable vessels in such a manner that no loss of 
sporules can occur from wind or draft, and the spores are then 
obtained by beating and rubbing, whereby the sporangia are rup- 
tured ; the resulting powder is then passed through a fine sieve 
to separate fragments of leaves, spore capsules and other acci- 
dental impurities. 

To the three species mentioned, Lyc. dendroideum might be 
added in this country as a source for commercial Lycopodium, 
and this might be most advantageously collected in the Eastern 
States and in Canada. Since, however, the yield is small from 
the bulky spikes, it is the writer's opinion that the collection of 
Lycopodium in North America will scarcely pay, owing to the 
greater value of labor, as long as the European article of unex- 
ceptional quality can be bought in this country at from 50 to 70 
cents currency per pound. — Proc. Amer. Pharm. Assoc., 1869. 

By p. C. Candidus. 
I present to the A. P. Association a formula for the above 
elixir, which I prepared about eight months ago, at the request 
of Dr. Jerome Cochran, Professor of Chemistry at the Mobile 
Medical College. He wanted the virtues of Prunus Virg., 
Taraxacum, and Gentian — the latter in small proportion : 


R. Rad. Taraxaci, ^vj., or Ext. Tarax. fluid, f. gvi. 
Cort. Pruni Virg., ^iv. 
Rad. Gentianae, ^i. 
Cort. Aurantii, ^ii. 

Sem. Coriandri, aa, gi. 

" Anisi, 

" Carvi, 

" Card., aa, gii. 
Rad. Glycyrrh., ^i. 
Syrup. Simpl., Oiiss. 

Alcohol and water, in the proportion of 1 of the former 
to 3 of the latter, a sufficient quantity. 

The dry ingredients must be reduced to a suitable degree of 
fineness for percolation. Mix the alcohol and water, moisten 
the powder with 6 oz. of the mixture, then pack in a conical 
percolator, and pour on of the alcoholic mixture until 6f pints 
are obtained, then add the syrup and mix them. 

Dr. Cochran prescribed it a great deal, mostly as an adjuvant 
and vehicle of other medicines. One day a gentleman came in 
to take a dose of quinine. I looked about for something for 
him to take it in, when my eye fell on the above elixir. I mixed 
it for him, and to his surprise it was tasteless. As he felt 
doubtful of its being quinine, I mixed up some for myself, and 
it proved to be completely masked. I sent some to several phy- 
sicians, who pronounced it a success. Dr. E. P. Gaines, and 
other leading physicians, have been prescribing it ever since to 
their own and their patients' satisfaction. The quinine should be 
mixed with the elixir at the time it is taken, although when 
mixed for several days it is still tasteless. 

The dose of the elixir is from half to one ounce, and it is no doubt 
better than the popular stomach bitters flooding the country. 
— Proc. Amer. Pharm. Assoc. , 1869. 

By George F. H. Markoe. 
Query 16th What is the best substitute for camphor for the protec- 



tion of woolens from moths and other insects, that will be cheaper and 
more efiFective 

In reply to this query the writer would suggest the use of 
naphthaline as a substitute for camphor. It is an effective pro- 
tective agent against the ravages of moths and other insects 
among woolens and in natural history collections. 

When purified, naphthaline is obtained in beautiful crystalline 
masses, possessing a strong peculiar odor, recalling the smell of 
coal-tar creosote. In its crude state the crystals are of a brown 
color, and the odor much more intense than when purified. 

Naphthaline has been put to a thorough test by Prof. Asa 
Gray in Harvard College Herbarium, and in the cabinets of the 
Boston Society of Natural History. The results obtained in these 
trials were highly satisfactory and conclusively proving the value 
of naphthaline as a protective agent against the ravages of the de- 
destructive insects that infest woolens and the cabinets of museums. 

It is very cheap, being a waste product in the distillation of 
coal-tar for which no practical use has been found except for 
fuel and for the manufacture of lampblack.* The only objection 
the writer can find to its use is its strong odor, which to many 
people is very disagreeable ; this fact will alone prevent naph- 
thaline from becoming a popular substitute for camphor, at least 
so far as its application to the protection of clothing is concerned ; 
but for use in natural history collections it leaves little to be de- 
sired. — Proc. Amer. Pharm. Association^ 1869. 

By Professor Charles A. Joy. 
This interesting compound was discovered in 1832, by Liebig, 
and was obtained by the action of chlorine upon absolute alcohol. 
The name is significant of its origin, and suggests at once the 
method of its manufacture. Chlorine alcohol is abbreviated to 
chloral, just as aldehyd is al(cohol of) hyd(rogen). The Ger- 
mans have a name for chloral so long that it ought to be men- 
tioned as a curiosity. They call it trichlormethylhydrocarbo- 
noxyd, and sometimes trichloracetoxylwasserstoff', and, again, 
trichloraldehyd, or trichloracetyloxydhydrat. It is not proba- 

* Naphthaline is now used in making dye colors and in the artificial 
production of benzoic acid. — Editor Am. Journ. Pharm. 



ble that the medical profession will adopt any of the long names in 
making up their prescriptions, but that chloral will reign in all 
its simplicity. It is worthy of note that nearly simultaneously 
with Liebig's discovery of chloral in Germany, was Guthrie's 
preparation of chloroform in the United States, and it is some- 
what remarkable that, while the former is just coming into 
notice as an hypnotic agent, the latter has been employed since 
1847 as an anaesthetic, and the present investigations upon it 
would not have been undertaken if it were not for its relations 
to chloroform. Although Liebig first prepared chloral, yet we 
are chiefly indebted to Dumas for a knowledge of its properties 
and constitution, just as we were for the best investigations upon 
chloroform. In order to understand how chloral can be made 
from alcohol, it would be well to write down the formulas of 
alcohol, aldehyd, &c., and then trace the decomposition that 
takes place : 

Old. New. 
Alcohol, C^H^O^ C^H^O 

Aldehyd, C^H^O^ C^H^O 

Chloral, C^CPHO^ C^HCPO 

Chloroform, C^HCP C HCP 

When chlorine is passed through absolute alcohol, we can see, 
from the above table, how it takes the place of hydrogen, and 
forms hydrochloric acid. The reaction may be represented by 
the following formula, C^H^O+S Cl^C^HCPO+S HCl. The 
actual manufacture of chloral is attended with considerable 
difficulty and expense. 

It is necessary to pass well dried chlorine gas through pure 
anhydrous alcohol for many hours, as long as it is absorbed, and 
to keep the vessel cool in the early stages of the operation ; 
later, the temperature must be gradually raised until the liquid 
boils. If dilute alcohol be employed, instead of the anhydrous, 
no chloral is formed, but, in its stead, aldehyd, acetic acid and 
hydrochloric acid ; hence the necessity of using absolute alcohol. 
It is also difficult to prevent the formation of other compounds, 
especially chloride of carbon, which serve to contaminate the 
chloral and render its administration dangerous. After the 
chlorine has been passed through sufficiently long, the crude 
product is mixed with three times its bulk of oil of vitriol and 



distilled at a gentle heat. It is sometimes necessary to repeat 
this operation several times, and finally to distil over quick lime. 
This is a long and tedious process, and it is not at all probable 
that it will be followed on a large scale should there be a de- 
mand for chloral in medicine. The action of chlorine upon 
bodies that yield alcohol by fermentation, such as starch, sugar, 
&c., will be tried, and even wood, after it has been treated with 
sulphuric acid, might afford it when acted upon by chlorine. 
Professor Staedeler, formerly of Gottingen, now of Zurich, 
thought of the possibility of such a reaction, and actually suc- 
ceeded in making chloral by distilling a mixture of one part of 
starch (or sugar) with seven parts of hydrochloric acid and three 
parts of peroxide of manganese ; formic acid, carbonic acid and 
other bodies accompanying it. Some of these latter methods 
may eventually prove successful, and thus enable us to obtain 
chloral at a cheap rate. At a recent meeting of the Chemical 
Society of Berlin, a pound of chloral hydrate was exhibited by 
two chemists, Martins and Mendelssohn, who stated that, with 
the co-operation of Dr. Liebreich, they had discovered a cheap 
and easy method for its preparation, but they refrained from 
giving the method because they were not through with the re- 
search. We also understand that the hydrate is offered for sale 
in Berlin for about a dollar, gold, per ounce. As a dose only 
consists of a few grains, an ounce can be made to go a long way, 
and the price may be considered very moderate. "We can hardly 
expect to procure it in this country for any such price until the 
demand for it has occasioned the discovery of cheap methods for 
its manufacture. We are sorry not to be able to give more defi- 
nite hints in reference to a new way of preparing it, but we feel 
confident that our skillful pharmaceutists will soon be able to 
get on the right tract. 

We now propose to give an account of the properties of chloral. 
It is a limpid, oily, colorless liquid with a fatty taste, and a 
strong caustic smell, producing lachrymation. Its specific gravity 
is 1*502, and it boils at 95°C., and can be distilled unchanged. 
It mixes in all proportions with water, also with ether and 
alcohol. It dissolves sulphur, phosphorus, bromine and iodine, 
and combines directly with water to form a hydrate. A little 



chloral put into a moist flask deposits star-shaped crystals of the 
hydrate on the sides. The aqueous solution of chloral is indif- 
ferent to vegetable colors ; oxides of silver or mercury have no 
effect upon it ; concentrated sulphuric acid deprives it of water 
and separates the anhydrous crystals. 

One of its most remarkable properties is the change it un- 
dergoes spontaneously when kept ; it is altered into a porcelain- 
like mass called metachloral, which is insoluble, though isomeric 
with the liquid form. It can be reconverted into chloral by dis- 
tillation. The white metachloral is insoluble in alcohol and 
ether, as well as in water, but by contact with water it is grad- 
ually converted into the crystallized hydrate of chloral. 

Fuming nitric acid changes chloral into tri-chloracetic acid. 
An alcoholic solution of potash converts chloral immediately into 
formiate of potash and chloroform. This reaction may be rep- 
resented as follows, C^CPHO-l-KHO-^KCHO^+CHCP. For 
pharmaceutical purposes chloral hydrate must form a hard, 
white, crystalline mass, be completely soluble in water, not 
smell of chloride of carbon or hydrochloric acid, but retain the 
peculiar, penetrating odor characteristic of chloral. It would 
be dangerous to employ hydrate of chloral, contaminated by 
chlorous acetylene, chloride of carbon and other incidental pro- 
ducts, and hence great care must be observed in its preparation. 

Much attention has recently been called to the hydrate of 
chloral in consequence of the physiological researches of Dr. 
Liebreich. This gentlemen, in presenting his paper to the 
Chemical Society of Berlin, May 24, 1869, gave the following 
interesting explanation of the occasion of his research : 

" There are some substances which pass through the body without 
decomposition and without exercising any appreciable influence 
on the even tenor of our life ; there are others which go to build 
up and nourish ; others take up something from the body by 
chemical decomposition and then leave it ; some are useful, such 
as acetic acid and sugar. I experimented recently to ascertain 
if, by the splitting up of certain compounds in the body, the 
separated compound would exert the same influence it would if 
administered alone. 

Trichloracetic acid of Dumas and chloral of Liebig appeared 



to be the most favorable for experiment. It is known that these 
bodies when brought in contact with alkaline solutions split up 
into chloroform and formiates and carbonates of the alkalies. 
Both of these substances being soluble in water are easily absorbed ; 
after they have passed into the circulation they come in contact 
with the alkali of the blood. My experiments proved that the 
formic acid and carbonic acid had no particular effect, while the 
chloroform exerted its full influence." 

Dr. Liebreich reasoned that what took place outside of the 
body in the chemist's laboratory ought to follow^ in the alembic 
of the stomach ; but he preferred to bring his agents directly in 
contact with the blood by subcutaneous injections rather than 
wait for the action by the way of the stomach ; although in some 
experiments he injected the compound into the stomach. 

Some animals slept in ten minutes after the application, and 
continued in this state for eighteen hours with quiet pulse and 
respiration. One man slept for sixteen hours without bad effects. 
The length of the action is explained on the theory of the gradual 
elimination of chloroform in the body, and its continuous effect 
upon the patient until the whole of it was decomposed. 

Dr. Jacobi, a distinguished physician of New York, has re- 
peated many of Dr. Liebreich's experiments with great success, 
and he recently read a very interesting paper on the subject 
before the New York County Medical Society, giving a detailed 
account of what he had done. On the other side of the question 
we find in the Medical G-azette^ of New York, so ably edited by 
Dr. A. L. Carroll, a translation of some experiments conducted 
by M. Demarquay and communicated to the Academy of France, 
from which the experimenter draws the following conclusions : 

" 1. Chloral has a well marked soporific effect upon debili- 
tated and weak subjects. 

2. The duration of its action is in direct proportion to the 
weakness of the patient. 

^' 3. The sleep provoked by it is generally calm, and is only 
disturbed in patients laboring under acute pains. This leads me 
to advise it in diseases where it is desired to procure sleep and 
muscular resolution. 

" 4. Finally, this agent may be given in quite large doses, as 



it has not caused any accidents in the dose of from one to five 

Dr. Demarquay thinks that the chloral is eliminated through 
the lungs, and states that the breath of the patient smells of 
it ; he does not agree with the theory of Liebreich that it is split 
up into chloroform and formic acid in the blood, but admits that 
it is the most rapid of all soporifics. 

Dr. Jules Worms arrives at the following conclusions after 
conducting a series of experiments with the hydrate of chloral. 

1. Chloral dissolved in ten parts of water can be drank with- 
out any inconvenience to the amount of ten grammes. 

2. The efi"ect is felt with IJ to 2 grammes, but there are some 
obstinate cases which require a dose of 2 or 3 grammes. 

3. A calm sleep, often profound, during which there is no 
modification in the temperature, in the regularity of the pulse 
or of the respiration, ensues in ten or fifteen minutes after the 
digestion of the chloral and continues for seven or eight hours. 
The waking is not accompanied by headache or nausea of any 
kind ; there may be some dullness, but it is soon dissipated. It 
can be administered before or after meals, and exerts no influ- 
ence upon digestion. 

To sum up the experience of Dr. Worms, the hydrate of 
chloral appears to be an inoffensive agent in small doses, and 
may render important services as a hypnotic. In fact, the prop- 
erty which it possesses of determining sleep almost instantly is 
not possessed by any other agent that can be introduced inter- 
nally. It possesses great advantage over opium and its deriva- 
tives in the rapidity of its action and the subsequent freedom 
from torpor and disagreeable sensations. 

Trichloracetic acid was discovered by Dumas, in 1830, and 
was prepared by the action of chlorine on acetic acid. It crys- 
tallizes in octahedra and deliquesces in the air. As this acid is 
decomposed by alkalies into carbonic acid and chloroform. Dr. 
Liebreich proposes to employ it as a substitute for chloral, but no 
account of his experiments is available to us at this present 
writing. If his reasoning were to hold good with this compound 
also it would go far to sustain his theory in reference to the 
splitting up of chloral and the local action of chloroform. The 


whole subject is of great interest to physiologists and chemists, 
and may be the occasion of important discoveries. 

Note. — The principal literature may be found in the following 

original papers : 

Liebig Ann. Chem. Pharm. I, 189 

Staedeler, Ann. Chem. Pharm. LXI, 101 
Dumas, An. de Chim. Phys. LVI, 123 

Regnault, An. de Chim. Phys. LXXI, 409 
Wurtz., An. de Chim. Phys. XLIX, 58 
Kolbe, Ann. Chem. Pharm. CVI, 144 

Kopp, Ann. Chem. Pharm. XCIV, 257 

Kopp, Ann. Chem. Pharm. XCV, 307 

Medical Gazette, New York, November 6th, 1869 ; page 267. 

— New York Jour, of Applied Pharm. ^ Dec. 1869. 

Dr. Fresenius calls attention to a fact, accidentally discovered 
by him, that the carbonate of soda (neutral), as met with in a 
crystalised state, and as manufactured at the alkali works, now 
often contains a very perceptible quantity of arseniate, or arse- 
nite of soda, undoubtedly due to the use of sulphuric acid for 
converting the common salt into sulphate of soda, which acid 
contains arsenic, derived from the pyrites, of which few are quite 
free from arsenic, and some of which contain that substance in 
considerable quantity. The tests applied for the detection of 
this arsenic were not the most delicate in use for this purpose ; 
and the quantity found, though small, is sufficient to alfect the 
purity of preparations for medicinal and chemical use. — Chemi- 
cal News, Nov. 5, 1869. 


By M. Rump. 

The author states : During the latter end of last year, on the 
occasion of the inspection of apothecaries' shops in Prussia, a 
quantity of tartar emetic was found to contain arsenic ; as a 


consequence thereof, a report was made to headquarters, at Ber- 
lin, and a rigorous inquiry and investigation set on foot by order 
of Dr. de Miihler, as minister for medical affairs and police 
[medizinal polizei). The methods of testing for arsenic, when 
mixed up with antimonial preparations, were carefully consid- 
ered, and the following method of testing, due to the researches 
of Mine Inspector Strohmeyer, adopted; 2 grms. of the sus- 
pected tartar emetic are reduced to a fine powder and dissolved 
in 4 grms. of pure hydrochloric acid (sp. gr., 1*124). The glass 
vessel wherein this solution is made ought to be narrow, and 
capable of being well closed, and of sufficient size to contain an 
additional quantity of at least 30 grms. more of hydrochloric 
acid. A quantity of pure hydrochloric acid should be thoroughly 
saturated with sulphuretted hydrogen gas, and of this acid a 
quantity of at least 30 grms. is added to the solution of the 
tartar emetic. The glass vessel containing the solution is well 
corked, and, after having been shaken up, set aside; the tur- 
bidity which at first appears soon subsides (if it does not do so, 
it is due to the too great saturation of the HCl with HS, and 
should be remedied by the addition of some pure HCl). If no 
arsenic is present at all, the liquid remains perfectly colorless ; 
but the slightest trace of arsenic gives rise to a yellow colora- 
tion, and very soon after to a perfectly perceptible pure yellow 
• precipitate of sulphuret of arsenic. — Chemical News, Dec. 3, 


By M. Loew. 

A solution of iodide of potassium is, even when kept in well- 
closed bottles, slowly decomposed by the action of daylight, and 
assumes a somewhat yellowish tinge, due to free iodine. The 
author filled a number of glass tubes for about from one-half to 
three-fourths of their capacity, with a solution of iodide of 
potassium, and, after having sealed these tubes, exposed them to 
direct sunlight. Another set of tubes were likewise filled with 
the same solution, but all air was expelled, and the tubes sealed 



during and after the solution had been boiling for a considerable 
time. These tubes were also exposed to the action of direct 
sunlight ; after three and four months' exposure, the tubes and 
contents were examined ; those wherein no air at all was left 
were found to be perfectly colorless, no decomposition of the 
contents having taken place. As regards the other tubes, the 
following results are noticed : 1. Under the influence of light, 
the oxygen of the air decomposes iodide of potassium, iodine in 
small quantity is set free, while hydrate of potassa is found in 
the liquid. 2. This decomposition is limited, and does not, even 
when a large quantity of oxygen is present, increase, because a 
portion of the iodine set free enters again into combination 
with the caustic potassa set free, forming iodide of potassium 
and iodate of potassa. 3. The testing for ozone by means of a 
solution of iodide of potassium and starch (or paper prepared 
therewith), is of ho value whatever, unless care has been taken 
to exclude direct sunlight. — Chemical N'ews, Dec. 3, 1869. 

(E&itorial Department, 

Our Journal. — Forty-second Volume. — In commencing a new volume 
it is usual with many editors to offer some remarks apposite to the work 
in their charge. It is not often that we have taken advantage of this 
practice, but the present seems to offer a fitting occasion. Our readers 
will find an unusual amount of original matter in the present issue ; in fact 
nearly the whole of it is the work of our contributors. Attention is par- 
ticularly called to the valuable paper of Dr. Wormley, whose well known 
and extensive labors in toxicological chemistry cause this contribution 
to be highly appreciated. The view of Pharmacy in Sweden opened by 
Mr. Oldberg will gratify many by its plain, free style, and his feeling 
acquaintance with the subject. Swedish Pharmacy has been a nursery of 
great men in science; Scheele, the father of Organic Chemistry, passed 
through the routine described. Our friend Dr. Squibb treats us to one 
of his old-fashioned exhaustive articles on the preparation and titration 
of opium, as exhibited in his " Liquor Opii Compositus." He has sub- 
stituted the disagreeable Hoffman's anodyne by chloroform and acetic 
ether, for reasons which he gives at length. Mr. Campbell gives a more 
explicit statement of his "method" of applying percolation in the prepa, 
ration of fluid extracts. The evident interest excited by his former paper^ 
published in our September issue, has not abated, as will be seen by com- 




mentaries in this, an interest arising from the real importance of having 
our Pharmacopoeia processes so manageable that they can be performed 
easily within the shop laboratory. We have not yet satisfied ourself of 
the actual necessity and value of making glycerin enter so generally into 
these preparations, nor do we yet appreciate whether its presence may be 
viewed as so much sugar, or whether it has certain physiological proper- 
ties when administered that render its presence sometimes inappropriate. 
This is a point that medical observers would do well to determine. 

Whilst on this subject we will take occasion to say that there are quite 
a number of our subscribers whose practice conveys the impression that 
printers and paper makers work gratuitously. There are some who owe 
us for eight and ten years of subscriptions, and yet expect to receive this 
number as though of right. This situation, it may be said, is our fault in 
sending. This may be true, but the course of our College in this, as in 
most others of its functions, has been rather to extend knowledge than to 
make money, depending on the just appreciation of its efforts in the 
long run to benefit Pharmacy. If some of this class of our patrons fail 
to receive this volume, they must attribute it to an earnest effort to 
reduce our expenses, rather than to a disposition to deprive them of their 
customary reading matter, and that, appreciating our sincerity, they will 
manfully pay up old scores, and bring smiles to the visage of our 

We will also take occasion to ask the attention of our subscribers to 
the mail service of their localities. Where several subscribers are at one 
place, our mailing clerk always, after writing the names on the covers, 
ties them together in paper directed to the postmaster. It frequently 
happens, under these circumstances, that, while nearly all receive the 
Journal, one will write of its failure, when, as a matter of course, the 
missing journal must have reached the post office. It is therefore the 
duty of subscribers to promptly investigate these failures to receive, 
because when we carefully mail them our responsibility ends. When 
subscribers move their residence from one post district to another jthey 
often forget to notify us, and thus occasion loss and trouble. In sending 
their address, each subscriber in small towns should specify his County 
as well as State, to give additional safety. 

We owe an apology to our subscribers for the late appearance of this 
number, due partly from the necessity of waiting for the illustration 
first page, which has not yet come to hand on Jan. 5th. Quite a number 
of excellent papers in our exchanges are waiting for notice or reprinting 
in our pages, and it is hoped that we will be able in the March number to 
do them justice. 

Joint Action of Medical and Pharmaceutical Committees in rela- 
tion TO A Drug Law. — In March last the County Medical Society appoint- 
ed a committee, consisting of Doctors Gross, Burns, Stetler, Gebhard and 
Hamilton, to take some action in reference to the necessity of a law against 



the adulteration of drugs, etc. This committee having invited the Phila- 
delphia College of Pharmacy to appoint a similar committee to co-operate 
in the same object, that body responded by the appointment ©f Messrs. 
Procter, Parrish, Maisch, Taylor and Bullock. The joint committee on 
their first meeting determined to invite the College of Physicians of 
Philadelphia to take part in the work, which being acceded to, that 
College appointed Doctors Carson, Ruschenberger, Ashurst, E. Harts- 
horne and T. H. Bache. Subsequently, at the meeting of the State 
Medical Society, that body also appointed a committee, consisting of 
Doctors Nebinger, Mayburry, Cummisky, Knight and W. L. Wells. 

This joint committee have met from time to time, and have discussed 
the business referred to them, more especially in relation to the necessity 
of a law to restrain and punish drug adulteration, and of an inspector to 
see it carried into effect. The pharmaceutists, having been invited by 
the physicians, desired to know on what grounds their medical friends 
founded the necessity for such a law, and, on hearing the statements 
upon which it was based, took the ground that as regarded foreign drugs 
no such necessity existed, the government inspection at the ports of entry 
having to a large extent excluded the low grade of drugs formerly im- 
ported. In regard to the alleged deviations from the Pharmacopoeia in 
making standard medicines by apothecaries, druggists, and manufacturing 
pharmaceutists, it was admitted that such deviations did exist, and that 
want of uniformity was a great evil, arising from various causes, but 
chiefly from the attempts of manufacturers to produce these preparations 
by processes and formulae less expensive than those of the National Code. 
They believed that the first duty of physicians and apothecaries was to 
make the National Code a true exposition of the present state of the 
pharmaceutic art, and in its materia medica to accord with the demands of 
the medical profession in all parts of the country. Then to insist on its re- 
cognition by physicians, pharmaceutists and druggists. They did not think 
an inspector of drugs and medicines could possibly meet the difficulty, as, 
independent of the impossibility of analysing Galenical medicines success- 
fully, it would involve so much time as to require an hundred inspectors 
for the State to carry out the law. They (the pharmaceutists) therefore 
advocated measures tending to raise the status of pharmacy, and to con- 
fine its practice to qualified persons, by urging a law based on qualifica- 
tion sustained by registration. They also were willing to have a law 
making the adulteration of drugs and medicines a misdemeanor, provided 
it was to be carried out t)y the Courts through the aid of qualified and 
recognized experts, and not by the mere ipse dixit of informers, medical 
and otherwise. 

The physicians of the joint committee, except in a very few instances, 
were not prepared to sustain the grave charges which a committee of the 
State Medical Society had made last winter to the Legislature, on the 
occasion of memorializing that body for a law with an inspectorship ; and, 



after much discussion, it was finally agreed by the joint committee to re- 
commend so much of the draft of a law snggested by the American Phar- 
maceutical Associatiou in September last, at Chicago, as pertained to the 
adulteration of drugs. This came up for consideration at the meeting of 
Dec. 18th, at which too few were present to give force to the expression, 
and its consideration was postponed till Dec. 29th, when the following re- 
solutions were passed, with a majority present, the first with one nega- 
tive vote, the second unanimously: 

''Resolved, That the Joint Committee appointed by the College of 
Physicians, the State Medical Society, the County Medical Society, and 
the College of Pharmacy, respectfully advise the several bodies which 
they represent that, in iheir opinion, the draft of a law proposed and 
considered by the American Pharmaceutical Association embodies a 
better plan than any other which has been brought to their notice, for the 
suppression of adulteration and sophistication of drugs and medicines." 

''Resolved, That the expression of opinion of the Joint Committee, in 
the resolution just adopted, refers exclusively to those sections of the 
' Draft of a proposed Law' which relate to the adulteration and sophisti- 
cation of drugs and medicines." 

Correction. — New York College of Pharmacy. — In a paper on 
" Pharmacy in the United States," by Mr. John Faber, published in the 
September number of the American Journal of Pharmacy, page 399, the 
following paragraphs occur, relating to a law previously stated to exist 
in the State of New York : 

By force of that law, the College of Pharmacy in New York, in the 
year of 1830, after having repeatedly fined, caused a number of establish- 
ments (the owners of which could not prove their legal qualification) to 
be closed. But they appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States, 
which declared this law unconstitutional, it being not in accordance with 
the general freedom of trade, as sanctioned by the Constitution of the 
United States. 

On the strength of that decision, those that were thus interrupted in 
their business commenced an action against the College of Pharmacy of 
New York, which had to pay such heavy damages, that it took that in- 
stitution over fifteen years to recover from it. 

A letter received from Mr. George C. Close, President of the New York 
College of Pharmacy (and which should have been noticed in our last 
number), after saying that this whole statement is untrue, and that Mr. 
Faber has been misinformed, says : 

"The first charter for the College was [granted] in 1831, and the act 
to regulate the preparation and dispensing of medicines in the city of 
New York was passed March llth, 1839. 

*' The College of Pharmacy of New York never has taken any action 
towards enforcing this law, neither has any individual done so ; and of 
course the appeal to the Supreme Court, and the subsequent action 
against the College, the fines, &c., had no existence except in the fertile 
brain of Mr. Faber's informant. The law of the State of New York re- 
ferred to is defective, in directing the fines collected to be paid to an in- 



stitution which has no existence under the title designated, and this per- 
haps is one reason that no attempt has been made to enforce it." 

University of Michigan. — The following letter was alluded to in our 
last number, but was received too late to afford space for it: 

Michigan University, Sept. 24, 1869. 
Editor American Journal of Pharmacy : 

Dear Sir, — Your September number contains a list of the graduates 
from the Michigan University School of Pharmacy, prefaced by some 
editorial comments. You say you are not well assured of the prelimi- 
nary requirements of this school as regards practical training in the shop, 
and hence do not know the real value of the diploma granted." Perhaps 
some explanation upon this point may be in order. 

No requirement of training in the shop is made, either for admission to 
the course or for graduation. Our school believes it to be quite as well 
for the young pharmacist, better for his employer, and far better for the- 
public, that scientific preparation for the drug business should precede 
experience in it. Some students enter our course after several years of 
shop experience ; in consequence they have the advantage, in the college, 
of greater eagerness. Others graduate to engage for the first in the drug 
store ; they have thereby the advantage, in their vocation, of a more en- 
lightened experience. The course now established here embraces train- 
ing, under supervision, at the prescription stand, — actual work, certainly 
as well deserving the credit of responsible experience for the pharmaceu- 
tical student as hospital practice does for the medical student. This 
training is valued as a means of binding principle to practice, but it is 
not allowed to take the place of more fundamental education. Our classes 
are assured that it is not our design to enable them, in the least possible 
time, to enter upon drug dispensing, but to prepare them for more re- 
sponsible positions during life. It is our endeavor to educate scientific 
experts, — competent for drug assays, familiar with the toxical properties 
of medicines, habituated to accuracy, capable of professional truthfulness 
and earnest to maintain it, — not mere ready tradesmen in pharmacy, but 
such as shall be worthy of the often abused designation of pharmaceutical 
chemist. The facility in detail acquired during years of activity in a drug 
store has its value, — one in no danger of depreciation. Certificates of 
shop experience can be obtained, by good behaviour and old Father Time, 
upon sufficient authority without resort to the College. 

"In this couutry the words Pharmaceutical Chemist have no meaning 
beyond the other terms used to express the business or profession of a 
pharmaceutist." In the definitions of American dictionaries, apotheca- 
ries, pharmaceutists and druggists are those engaged'm preparing, selling, 
buying drugs, while a pharmaceutical chemist is (constructively) "one 
versed in chemistry," " pertaining to preparing medicines," &c. Certainly 
druggists do style themselves pharmaceutical chemists if they choose, 
without regard to scientific education. And any man whose occupation 



it is to devise and direct the building of bridges, aqueducts, &c., is a civil 
engineer, both by custom and the dictionary ; but this fact does not lessen 
the significance of the College diploma of Civil Engineer. This School 
gives the diploma of Pharmaceutical Chemist, because, of customary 
terms, these best express the educational design of this School. The 
meaning of the diploma will depend, of course, upon the worth of the 
education. In choice of title we had no precedent; for our methods of 
study, and requirements, differ from those elsewhere preceding pharmacy 

With a full appreciation of the invaluable work which has been done 
with young men engaged in the drug business by the Colleges of Phar- 
macy of the United States (would there were more of them !), it appears 
to us that something should also be done in the "Universities" of our 
country to educate for an avocation that must be scientific to be useful. 
Agriculture^ Mechanics, Engineering, Mining, and almost every responsi- 
ble occupation, whether mainly mental or manual, have their courses of 
liberal instruction laid out in our institutions of learning ; courses era- 
bracing years of discipline in science, absorbing the entire time and en- 
ergy of the student, and designed to precede business experience. We 
labor toward placing pharmacy in scientific hands ; who welcomes our 
effort? A. B. Prescott, M.D. 

Is Glycerin and Saw Dust Spontaneously Combustible? The 

following letter from our friend Brown is worthy of a little thoaght. Our 
own experience furnishes no solution to the phenomenon, assuming the 
case to be. as the relator supposes, a mere mixture of glycerin and saw- 
dust. Under these circumstances, by capillary attraction the glycerin 
would be extended over an immense surface of ligneous cell structure, 
presenting a large surface to the air in contact. Whether oxidation, 
resulting in visible combustion, takes place under these conditions, is the 
question. Can any of our readers throw light on it, yea or nay, or 
must the ignition be due to a match or other cause accidentally present? 

Leavenworth, Kansas, Nov. 27, 1869. 
Dear Sir. — I wish to relate to you the following circumstance, that 
occurred in this city, and, as it seems to be a mystery to us, it may not be 
to you. A druggist here purchased from W. J. M. Gorden a box 
containing a number of lb. bottles of glycerin, packed in saw dust. Upon 
opening the box he found several of the bottles broken. After taking 
out all the perfect bottles, he put back the saw dust and nailed the box 
up, and placed it aside in his store. It remained there a day or two, 
when he discovered the box to be smoking, and upon opening it burst out 
in a flame and burned rapidly. He carried the box out in the street, and 
by the aid of water the fire was put out. 

Query. What produced spontaneous combustion? A letter from Mr. 
Gol den states that it was packed in saw dust from the mill, and he never 
had heard of a similar case before. Would packing in damp saw dust, 
and fermentation going on, produce it? 

Yours, truly, R. J. Browk. 



Pharmacopoea Suecica. Editio Septima. Stockholmiae, 1869. P. A. 
Norstedt & Filii, Typog. Reg.; p. 275, 12mo. 

Through the kind offices of Oscar Oldberg, of Washington, D. C, we 
have received a copy of this volume. It is in the Latin language ; the 
Materia Medica and the preparations are arranged together alphabeti- 
cally, as in the last British Pharmacopoeia. The French metrical weights 
are adopted, the gramme being considered equal to 0.0023525 of the 
Swedish pound, which is equivalent to 425*0758 grammes. No measures 
of capacity are adopted ; all liquids are ordered hy weight, and it is for- 
bidden to dispense them hy measure. The metre is adopted as the mea- 
sure of length, divided into the decimetre and centimetre. Temperature 
is measured by the centigrade scale, and by this scale the range for 
maceration is between 15'^ and 25°, and for digestion between 35° and 

The nomenclature differs much from the simplicity of ours. In speci- 
fying salts the acid is mentioned first, as Acetas Morphicus, Hyposulphis 
Natricus, lodetum Hydrargyrosum, Sulphas Chinicus. The parts of 
plants are expressed in the name, as Bulbus AUii, Cortex Chinse Cali- 
saya, Flavedo Aurantii, Flores Caryophylli, Folia Sennas, Fructus Anisi, 
Glandula Lupuli, Herba Lobeliae, Radix Arnicae, Ramuli Sabinse, Rhi- 
zoma Zingiberis, Semina Myristicae, Stigmata Croci, Stipites Dulcamara, 
Tubera Jalapae, Gummi Resina Asa Foetidae. Any liquid oleo-resin is 
called a balsam, whilst Benzoin is called Resina Benzoe. Opium in all 
preparations is indicated by an adjective derived from the word thebaia- 
cum, thus — Tinctura Thebaica, Trochisci Glycyrrhizse Thebaici, Yinum 
Thebaicum Crocatum, Pulvis Ipecacuanhas Thebaicus, Acetum Thebai- 
cum. Solutions are indicated by the prefix Solutio instead of Liquor. 
Volatile oils are ^therolea. Under the name Nitras Argenticus Miti- 
gatus a fused mixture of equal parts of nitrate of silver and nitrate of 
potassa is indicated, whilst Nitras Argenticus Bis Mitigatus contains two 
parts of the potassa salt. Tartar emetic is Tartras Stibico K aliens. 

The formulae appear to be gotten up in a careful and practical man- 
ner, and so far as examined are judicious and closely allied in many in- 
stances to our own; yet there are many peculiarities, some of which are 
noticed here, viz.: Ammoniac plaster is made from one part of ammoniac 
and two parts of vinegar of squills. Electuary of senna consists of pow- 
dered coriander 1, powd. senna 10, pulp of tamarind 15, syrup 25. There 
is a class of extracts made into powder with liquorice root, thus : Take of 
the extract and liquorice powder equal parts, mix intimately, and dry on 
a porcelain plate between 40° and 50° Cent., then add sufficient liquorice 
powder to restore the weight lost by drying, and triturate to a fine powder. 
This form is very convenient in prescribing powders, is uniform in 
strength — two grains representing one of the normal extract. The pul- 
verized extracts of aconite root, belladonna, cannabis, conium, digitalis 
and hyoscyamus are thus prepared. 



Under the head of Pulveres Simplices are some general observations 
in relation to the powders of simple drugs. These are divided into four 
classes : 1st. Those which pass through a silk sieve of 40 meshes to the 
centimetre (= 100 per inch), of which there are two kinds : A, those pow- 
dered without residue, as aloes, cinchona, gamboge, rhubarb, &c.', and B, 
those powdered with a residue, as digitalis, hyoscyamus, senna and ipecac. 

The second class pass a sieve 32 meshes to the centimetre (72 per inch). 
The third class through a sieve 18 meshes to the centimetre (45 per 
inch). The fourth class are made with a wire sieve, 10 meshes to the 
centimetre, or 25 per inch, such as flax seed and black mustard, 

There are about 19 syrups, among which is the following singular for- 
mula for syrup of squills, which we quote verbatim as a sample of the 
text, viz.: 

" Syrupus Scillittcus (sjolok syrup). 
Rec. Rhizomatis Zingiberis partem unam 1 
Bulbi Scilli3e partes duas 2 

Herbse Hyssopi partes quatuor 4 

Contusa et concisa in vase clauso per diem noctemque macerantur cum 

Aquse Mentha3 piperitse tanta copia 
ut liquor exprimendo colatus et filtratus pondus habeat 

partium triginta quinque 35 

quae cum 

Sacchari Albi partibus trihus et sexaginta 63 

Galore leni adhibito in syrupum convertantur." 

This formula also serves to show the plan of bringing forward the ingre- 
dients in a formula as the manipulation requires them. 

The only modus operandi for tinctures is maceration for five days in a 
close vessel, with occasional agitation, followed by expression and filtra- 
tion. The method of percolation as understood here is not mentioned in 
the work. 

Among the ointments Unguentum Cetacei has the synonym of *' Cold 
Cream," and is prepared thus : 4 parts of white wax, 5 of spermaceti, and 
28 of oil of almonds, are liquified by a gentle heat, and agitated in a warm 
mortar with 12 parts of rose water, until cool. 4 parts more of almond 
oil are then added, and the mixture beaten to a soft very white ointment. 

Unguentum Giycerini is Schacht's glycamyl, made by heating 2 parts 
of starch, 1 of water, and 10 of glycerin until the mixture becomes trans- 

A peculiarity of this Pharmacopoeia, also noticed in some German 
codes, are tables relative to the doses of medicines and poisons. 

Table A exhibits the maximum dose, for an adult, of powerful medi- 

Table B exhibits medicines which are not to be dispensed except on 
the prescription of a physician or by permission of the proprietor, and 
which are kept in locked closets. 



Table C indicates medicines which are not to be dispensed except by 
prescription or permission, and which are kept separate. 

Table D enumerates the medicines which are not required to be kept 
unless previously prescribed by a physician. 

The names of all poisons are written with a sign, to indicate their 

Some of these tables are worthy of adoption here, and the whole work 
shows a care and precision in details regarding poisons that must go far 
to prevent accidents in Sweden. 

Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, 
showing the operations, expenditures, and condition of the Institution 
for the year 1868. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1869 ; 
pp. 473, octavo. 

The policy of the Smithsonian Institution has greatly changed within a 
few years past, and from being destined to become a vast accumulation 
of books, and a museum of scientific objects and natural history collections, 
requiring all its income to keep them in order, now seems likely to carry out 
the design of its founder, by using its income to increase and diffuse 
knowledge in accordance with the views of Prof. Henry and some others. 
The original bequest was $541,379.63, which, by careful management df 
the interest, is now a capital of $697,000, giving an income of $40,820, 

The Library of the Institution was last year incorporated with that of 
Congress, in the Capitol. During the present year the herbarium, em- 
bracing between 15,000 and 20,000 specimens, has been transferred to the 
care of the Department of Agriculture. This collection, on which Pro- 
fessors Torrey and Gray have spent much time, it is to be hoped will be 
properly cared for and increased. The conditions of the transfer are 
that the botanist in charge shall be approved by the Institution, that it 
shall be accessible to the public for practical or educational purposes, 
and to the Institution for scientific investigation or for supplying informa- 
tion to correspondents. 

A recent arrangement with the Surgeon General transfers the large 
collection of human crania belonging to the Institution to the museum 
under his charge, whilst it receives in return the ethnological collection 
of the medical museum. 

The collections of type specimens of insects belonging to the Institu- 
tion have been placed in the hands of entomologists for arrangement and 
study, to be reclaimed when required ; thus carrying out the same line 
of policy above alluded to. 

The general appendix, comprising four-fifths of the book, includes Flou- 
ren's memoir of Cuvier, translated by C. A. Alexander; Elie de Beau- 
mont's memoir of Oersted, translated by the same ; Hagen's memoir of 
Encke, and Rawson's memoir of Eaton Hodgkinson. Besides these, re- 
cent information in relation to the mechanical theory of heat, radiation, 



meteorites, etc., etc., and the proceedings of various Societies, the publi- 
cation of which is in accord with the object of the Smithsonian Institu- 
tion as a disseminator of knowledge. 

Proceedings of the British Pharmaceutical Conference at the Sixth An- 
nual Conference, at Exeter, 1869. London; pp. 87, 8vo. 
The publication, almost entire, of these proceedings in the Pharmaceu- 
tical Journal of London, has enabled us to anticipate the reception of 
this volume in our notice of the meeting, at page 571 of the November 
number. The list of members and general index to the proceedings here- 
tofore published, from 1864 inclusive, with title-page for a general vol- 
ume, are valuable additions to the matter published before. Several pa- 
pers of great interest we hope to introduce into tliis volume, (which have 
been excluded by the large amount of original matter presented), espe- 
cially that of Mr. Schacht, which offers views in relation to pharmaceuti- 
cal education well worthy of attention this side the Atlantic. Mr. Stod- 
dart's application of spectral analysis to pharmacy in recognizing Galen- 
ical preparations, opens up a new method of recognition, the value of 
which deserves study, however little apparent promise it may offer at the 
outset. We have always deemed these meetings of the highest value in 
stimulating British pharmaceutists to increased efforts, and in raising the 
ideas of " provincial" members to a level with those of their more favored 
brethren of the Metropolis, so that they may appreciate the intentions of 
the late Act of Parliament as an agency to elevate and educate all who 
practice Pharmacy. 

Journal of a Botanical Excursion in the North Eastern parts of the 
States of Pennsylvania and New York during the year 1807. By 
Frederick Pursh. Philadelphia, 1869 ; 87 pages, 12mo. 
The manuscript of this little volume belongs to the American Philoso- 
phical Society, who received it from the executors of the late Dr. Benj. 
S. Barton, with other papers, but without the name of the author. Mr. 
Thos. P. James, when acting librarian of the Society, noticed the MS., 
and, aided by the suggestions of a friend, succeeded in identifying it as 
the journal of Pursh. The excursionist was aided by Dr. Barton with 
funds, and his journal is written in a peculiar quaint style, indicating an 
imperfect acquaintance with English. The editor has rendered it literally, 
that none of its interest may be lost. The name of Pursh is well known in 
connection with the Botany of the United States, and this account of one 
of his journeys in developing the flora of this country will be valued by all 
who take an interest in Botany and its cultivators. 

Report and Remarks on a Third Series of 100 cases of Cataract Extrac- 
tion by the Peripheric- Linear Method. By H. Knapp, M.D., &c., &c: 
New York : William Wood & Co., 1869 ; pp. 29, octavo. 



A Contribution to the Physiological Study of Veratrum Viride and Ve- 
ratria, (with Experiments on Lower Animals, made at La Grange La- 
boratory, 1869). By R. Armory, M. D., and S. G. Webber, M.D. 
Reprinted from the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal. Boston, 
1869; pp. 66, 12mo. 

The authors start out with the statement that *' Yeratrum Yiride was 
not brought into notice until a little more than two years ago," which is 
strange when it is recollected that Dr. Tully and others had written of it, 
not to speak of the great advertising its properties received through the 
exertions of Dr. Norwood, of South Carolina, some dozen or more years 
ago, who claimed for it unequalled sedative powers. They also appear 
to be wholly unacquainted with the investigations published in the vol- 
umes of this Journal for 1865-66, showing the existence of two alkaloids 
in Yeratrum Yiride, and evidence that neither of them is Yeratria. The 
authors do not state whether they used pure Yeratria or the mixed alka- 
loids of commerce sold under the name. Some of the physiological expe- 
riments appear to have been loosely performed. ' 

A Pharmacopoeia, including the outlines of Materia Medica and Thera- 
peutics ; for the use of practitioners and students of veterinary medi- 
cine. By Richard Y. Tuson, F.C.S., Prof, of Chem. and Mat. Med. 
at the Royal Yeterinary College, «fec. London : John Churchill & 
Sons, 1869 ; pp. 311, 12mo. From the publishers. 
The reader on opening this work might readily imagine it the British 
Pharraacopceia, until he came to some classes of preparations of special 
veterinary character. Judging from the men on whom a large portion of 
veterinary practice of this country devolves, we think this work is far too 
technical and scientific, however well it maybe appreciated by the gradu- 
ates of foreign veterinary schools. The nomenclature is in Latin, and is 
either that of the London Pharmacopceia or shaped on the same principle. 
The formulae are often identical for preparation, but for such as enemas, 
bolus, etc., the quantities are increased to suit the greater demand of the 
animals treated. We see none of the outlandish mixtures so often heard 
of for dosing animals, and it would appear that modern European 
veterinary therapeutics approximates that applied in human practice. 

Annual Report of the Surgeon General, U. S. Army, 1869. Printed at 
the Surgeon General's Office; pp. 11, octavo. 

This report of Surgeon General Barnes gives an account of the health 
of the army during the past year, and especially describes the occurrence 
of yellow fever at Key West, Florida, in June la'st, which on its discov- 
ery was greatly mitigated by the removal of a part of the troops, and the 
establishment of strict quarantine regulations. The disease is attributed 
to refugees from Cuba. Much credit is given to the medical officers in 
charge. The Army Medical Museum continues to be augmented, and 



the Medical and Surgical History of the War is slowly but surely pro- 
gressing-. The solid and permanent manner in which these new features 
of the medical department of the army are being carried out is as credit- 
able to the Medical Bureau as it is to the indefatigable exertions of 
the officers and surgeons in charge. 

The Patliology of BrigliVs Disease. By Wm. B. Lewis, M.D., &c., with 
illustrations. New York : Turner & Mignard, 1869. 

Eulogium on Thomas G. Brmsmade, M.D. Eead before the Rennselaer 
County Medical Society. By Geo. C. Hubbard, M.D. Albany, 1869, 

From the Author. 

Constitution, By-LaiDs, and Code of Ethics of the Philadelphia College 
of Pharmacy, with lists of officers, committees, members and gradu- 
ates, and the announcement of the School of Pharmacy. Pp. 56. 1869. 
This pamphlet, the result of much labor during the past year, is sent 
to the members of the College with this number, and, as far as possible, 
to the associate, honorary, and corresponding members, and the subscri- 
bers. As several important changes have occurred in regard to member- 
ship, and a new class of foreign members created, it should be closely 
examined by all interested. 


George Peabody. — This eminent patron of science and education died 
in London, November 4th, 1869, in his 75th year. A Massachusetts man 
by birth, and attached to his native soil, Mr. P. spent most of his life 
away from it, the earlier portion in Baltimore and the latter in London, 
where, chiefly as merchant, and afterwards as banker, he acquired the 
immense fortune, the judicious disposition of which, during his life, for 
educational and philanthropic purposes, has won for him the respect and 
admiration of the old world and the new. These gifts were scattered 
through a period of seventeen years, but it was only in the latter portion of 
his life that his enlarged views took shape, in regard to the London poor 
and to scientific and educational institutions in this country. Nations 
have vied to honor his memory. 

Dr. Frederick Penny, Professor of Chemistry in the Andersonian In- 
stitution since 1839, died recently in Glasgow, Scotland. Numerous 
papers record his researches. 

Peter Y. Coppuck, of Mount Holly, N. J., died on the 29th of De- 
cember, 1869, in the 64th year of his age. He was an apothecary in good 
repute in his locality, was an associate member of the Philadelphia Col- 
lege of Pharmacy, a member of the American Pharmaceutical Associa- 



tion, and has been in business about 41 years. He was a useful and 
public spirited citizen and much respected in the community where he 

PiERRE-FRANgois-GuiLLAUME BouLLAY, Dcan of the Imperial Academy 
of Medicine, Honorary President of the Society of Pharmacy of Paris, and 
one of the founders of the Journal de Pharraacie, died at Paris in about 
the first of November last, aged 92 years. According to M. Buignet, from 
whose address we draw most of the following facts, M. Boullay was born 
at Caen, of an honorable protestant family, and commenced his education 
at the College there, but his studies were interrupted by the revolution. 
He commenced his career as pharmacien with M. Mezaize, at Rouen, 
then with M. Bacoffe, of Paris, and entered the laboratory Vauquelin 
through the recommendation of Yalmont, Bomare and other savants, 
where he availed himself largely of the advantages his position under this 
great master afforded, and at the age of twenty gained the first prize 
in cl;iemistry. He founded a pharmacy in Paris, in 1798, which became 
a noted center, and in 1803 became a member of the Societie de Phar- 
macie. In 1809, in company with MM. Boudet, Blanche. Cadet and 
Destouches, he founded the Bulletin de Pharmacie, which, in 1815, be- 
came the Journal de Pharmacie, which has continued to the present 
time. Various of his researches mark the pages of this great serial. He 
was the discoverer of picrotoxin, and in connection with his son, the late 
Polydore Boullay, developed and applied the methode de displacement 
to pharmacy. This, more than any other of his labors demands the re- 
gard of Americans, as here more than anywhere else has this valuable 
process been applied in pharmaceutical manipulation. In 1820 he became 
a member of the Academic de jMedicioe, and was the last of its founders. 

As a Pharmacien M, Boullay was noted for conscientiousnes and 
probity. He did not accept the responsibility of a medicine unless he 
prepared it himself. His laboratory was always busy, and became a 
school in which many eminent pharuiaciens commenced their career. M. 
Boullay was a member of many learned societies, and last year was elected 
an honorary member of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, as he had 
previously been of the American Pharmaceutical Association. 

On the preliminary organization of the International Pharmaceutical 
Congress, held at Paris, in August, 1867, M. Boullay was elected tempo- 
rary president, and his venerable appearance, then in his 90th year, graced 
that honorable position. 

The character of M. Boullay was full of dignity and greatness of soul, 
and though jealous of the prerogatives due to his age and long experi- 
ence, his urbanity was carried in all his relations, and caused the general 
esteem of those who knew him. 



Catalogiae of the Class of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, 

With a List of their Preceptors and Localities. 


AliamR, L. W. 
Albrecht, E. 
Allen, C. Sumtier, 
Ash, Franklin J. 
Barton, George W. 
Beatty, Henry J. 
Beeler, John L. 
Bille, George, 
Bitler, Henry H. 
Bolton, C. F. 
Borton, George D. 
Bolger, .7. 0. 
Boyer, ^ . B. 
Brennan, John M. 
Briggs, jMilioD G. 
Bringhurst, Jn. H. 
Brinton, C. Uill,^ 
Bu'-b, Charles P. 
Burroughs, Silas M. 
Bush, Kdwurd, 
Byers. R. E. 
Byers, W . C. 
Camm, Ilirry V. 
Carter, J. M. 8. 
Causse, Eniiliano. 
Chiles, Edward, 
Clarke, S. B. M. 
Clemson, F. C. F. 
Clothier, Samuel, 
Conard, T. E. 
Connally, W. C. 
Cunningham, M. 
Detwiller, Henry J. 
Dietrick. J. W. 
D'lnvilliers, Charles, 
Dosch, Benton G. 
Duffield, Harrison, 
Dugan, W. F. 
Eberhard, Oliver, 
Ehler, W. K. 
Eldridge, Jerome, 
Ellis, Wardle, 
Emerick, Wm. B. 
Evans, Frank B. 
Ewing, W. G. 
Finch, Charles L. 
Fhnn, Harry A. 
Formel, Julio,| 
Fow, Oscar A. 
Fox, Francis, 
French, B. Howard, 
Garron, Leon V. 
Gerhard, A. F. 
Goodman F. M. 
Gould, C. M. 
Graham, Joseph, 
Gramm, E. C. 
Groff, C. L. 
Guy, G. Omar, 


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 










West Chester, 




Belle Yernon, 

St. lago, 






St. Jago, 

Lake City, 






New York, 

New Jersey, 







New Jersey, 




New Jersey, 



W. B Thompson. 
C. E. Heenchen. 
Arthur Mosely. 
S. Mason McCollin. 
J. K. Augney, M.D. 
W. H. Egle & Co. 

C. A. Werkshagen. 
Buchanan, Bean &Stevens'n 
Jos. P. Bolton. 
Benjamin J. Crew. 
A. H. Yarnall & Co. 
Wm. Stabler. 
Geo. C. Evans. 
James G. Wells. 
Caleb R. Keeney. 
John Wyeth & Bro. 
Robert England. ] 
0. H. P. Champlin. 
Baker, Moore <fe Mein. 
R. C. Byers. 
R. C. Byers. 
John L. Curvy. 
J. E. Sears. 

Charles Shivers. 
C. Clarke, M.D. 
P. Niskey. 

Mellor & Rittenhouae. 
James T. Shinn. 
Jas. S. Robinson. 
W. J. McClean, M.D. 
J. Reakirt & Co. 
Wm H. Weatherly. 
C. Ellis, Son & Co. 
T. A. Lancaster. 
John Moff<^t. 
Joseph J. Dugan. 
S. Eosenberger, M.D. 

A. W. Wright, M.D. 
Risk & Musson. 
Jn. Reakirt & Co. 
C. Ellis, Son & Co. 
J. C. Wharton. 
S. C. Allaband, M.D. 
— Glentvrorth, M.D. 

James N. Marks. 
Wm. B. Webb. 
Paul G. Oliver. 
E. Gaillard. 
S. Creadick. 
Thomas Gibbs. 
J. C. De LaCour. 
E. D. Chipman. 
S. Gerhard, 
J. Kenwortby. 


Hall, Joseph J. 
Hance, I. P. 
Hancker, Wm. H. 
Haanaman, J. B. 
Harry, John W. 
Hassinger, S. E. R. 
Hehr, Edward T. 
Helfrich, Llewellyn, 
Hinkle, James, 
Henry, Wm. A. 
Herbert, Eugene, 
Hethi-ington, Thos. 
Hickman, Richard W. 
Hilderbrand, Louis W. 
Hoskinson, J. T. 
Huddart; John F. 
Huneker, John F. 
Hunter. Thomas, 
Hutchings, Otway E. 
Ink, P. P. 
Jefiferson, Edward, 
JefiFries, James, 
Jester, 0. D. 
Johnson, Barclay, 
Kadish, Charles, 
Kannal, Emmett, 
Kaufman, Joseph, 
Keily, Daniel, 
Kellam, Stewart, 
Kervey, R. Harry, 
Kilbride, Geo. G. 
Kirkbride, Jos. J. 
Knight. George, 
Knipe, E. P. 
Kressler, Geo. J). 
Kuhn, Geo. R. 
Lantz, Joseph F. 
Lee, Charles S. 
Lee, S. Colbert, 
Lehman, J. Ehrman, 
Lehman. Walter, 
Lightcapp, Thomas J. 
Lippincott, Geo. C. 
Loder, G. G. A. 
Lott, Samuel, 
Luckenbach, Ed. H. 
McElwee, John, 
McKelway, Geo. T. 
McLaughlin, Jn. T. 
Maize, Charles, 
Marley, John, 
Martin, Andrew P. 
Miller, Frank E. 
Miller, Geo. A. 
Miller, Herman W. 
Mitchell, Charles L. 
Muhringer, Jules, 
Muscharap, Stanley C. 
Newbold, Henry A. 
Odenwelder, A, J. 
Ormand, Julius, 
Oxley, Jefferson, 
Painter, Edward C. 
Parker, Harry, 
Parker, Joseph, 
Patton, Daniel, 
Paxson, E. D. 
Peck, R. S. 
Perse, James V. 
Plunkett, Frank, 
Potts, Thomas H. 
Rankin, Robert, 
Raser, Jobn B. 
Ran, Eugene A. 
Reed, James B. 
Reifsnyder, E. F. 









New Orleans, 








West Cheater, 


East Berlin, 



































New Jersey, 






New Jersey, 
New Jersey, 

New .Jersey, 

New Jersey, 

New Jersey, 

New Jersey, 




New Jersey, 


New .Jersey, 




J. B. Lindsay. 

Russell & Landis. 

C. Carter, M.D. 

R. Keys. 

Jas. Harry. 

J. S. Conner. 

Geo. Y. Shoemaker. 

J . G. Baker. 

C. Ellis, Son & Co. 
J. T. Hufliial. 
Wetherill & Bro. 
W. H. HickmaR. 
A. Alburger, M.D. 

D. S. Jones. 
A. B. Taylor. 

R. Shoemaker & Co. 

R. Keys, M.D. 

J.H. Haite. 

S. B. Potter, M.D. 

Jn. Stradley. 

H. C. Blair's Sons. 

Henry C. Eddy. 

Bullock & Crenshaw. 

Isaac W. Smith. 

E. Parrish. 

— Todd, M.D. 

H. C. L. Aschoff. 

W. F. Patterson, M.D. 

Jn. Gegan, M.D. 

Thos. 8. Kirkbride, M.D. 

Alonzo Bobbins. 

C. Ellis, Son & Co. 

J. W. Robbing. 

J. A. Heintzelman. 

Powers & WeightmaE. 

H. C. Blair's Sons. 

F. Brown. 

S. T. Ringle. 
Beates <fe Miller. 
A. P. Brown. 
Wm. Lippincott. 
Chas. Souders. 
H. M. Lyons. 
C. Ellis, Son & Co. 
Charles Shivers. 
0. S. Hubbell. 

G. Ouram. 

A. Lineweaver. 
Mellor & Rittenhouse. 
Jn. Wyeth, Bro. Co. 
Aschenbach & Miller. 
Bullock & Crenshaw. 
,T. E. Armstrong, M.D. 
Hance, Bro. & White. 
C. Ellis, Son & Co. 
S. T. Riugel. 
Newbold Bro. 
F. V. Barnett. 
Hyams & Kennedy. 
Chambers 6f Hambright. 
L. Smith, M.D. 
C. Ellis, Son ik Co. 
C. Ellis, Son & Co. 
F Brown. 
E. Parrish. 
Greenleaf & Co. 
C. M. Elheran. 
Carpenter, Henzey & Co. 

E. M. Roche. 

F. Brown. 

C. W. Hancock. 
S. llau & Co. 
Gilbert Boyal. 
Beates & Miller. 





K-icliftrcls, AiigiistiiS) 

New Jersey, 

Richards U, F. 



liobcrt*** CbcirlGS Et 

X^ow ^ A-ii^ ustus J 


RuSiS^llj (^hcii'lGSy 

JNew xorK, 

fciailer, Frank K. 



tSaj'lor, Jcihn H. 


Schall, Alexanclerj 

Norristown , 

Schf 11, Karry D. 
Pchiedt, J. A. 

i hiladelphia, 

Scouller, Jn. N. 


Seeley, Hosea F. 


New Jersey, 

Segte8t, Lewis F. 



Semple, Robert A. 

Service, R. M. 

Shaw, Louis, 


Shoeuiaker. C. F. 


Simnis, W. 



Smith, Arthur C. 



Smith, Henry, 

Smith. Jloward, 


North Carolina, 

Smith vSekleE W. 



Smith W. P. 



Snyder, E. D. 



TVilliamsp ort. 

Pc n 11 s y 1 V an i & ) 

Stern, Aaron, 


Stewart, A. B. 

Stillwelh Walter C. 

Stoltz, Frederick. 

Stout. Robert, 



Stretch, Charles F. 


New Jersey, 

Thorn, Albert L. 



Tobiildt, Leopoldt F. 

Tomassevich, L. 

St. Jago, 



TuU, John, 


Turner, D. II. 


Tyson, Sylvester, 



Vernon, George R. 



Wallace. W. H. 


Watson, Wm. C. 

Weaver, John A. 


Weber, Frederick C. 



Weber, Jeremiah, 
Webster, H. Clay, 



New Jersey, 

Weed, G. W. 



Weidler, Samuel W. 



Wenerd, J. Edward, 


Wenrick, A. H. 


Wetherili, Albert, 



Wetherill, Frank D. 

Wetherill, Henry M. 


Wiegner, James A. 


Wilhelm, J. Alex. 


Willard, R., Jr. 


• New Jersey, 

Williamson. J. L. 



Wij gman, John xM. 


Wolff, Edwiu, 

Wood, John W. 

Newcastle Co., 


Wright, Samuel P. 


Young, John, 



T. A. Hermaii. 
French, Richards & Co. 
French^ Richards & Co. 
Wm. Notson, M.D. 
Hance, Bro. & White. 

C. L. Van Deuaen. 
Powers & Weightman. 
Wm. M. Wilson. 
Gilbert & Royal. 
Wm. J. Jenks. 
J. M. Maris & Co. 

B. Shoemaker & Co. 

C. L. Gumming. 
It. M. Snowdon. 

R. Shoemaker & Co. 

Bullock & Crenshaw. 
French, Richards & G 

G. W. Jones. 

T. 0. Weatherly. 
Geo. D. Blomer. 
A. H. McNair. 
Lancaster Thomas. 
W. Payne & Co. 
Frey & Ettinger. 
W. F. Logau. M.D. 
Aschenbach & Miller. 
W. F. Simes. 
J. L. Bispham. 
V. H. Smith. 
M. Marshall. 
J. R. Lippincott & Co. 

H. B. Lippincott. 

G. H. Toboldt. 
A. B. Taylor. 

J. Graham, Tull & San. ' 

H. C. Porter. 
J. E. Grove. 

A. M. Burden, M.D. 

Jas. Anderson, M.D. 

John Bley. 

E. B. Garriarues. 

A. H. Yarnall & Co. 

M. Combes. 

J. R. Stevenson, M.D. 

J. A. Heintzelman. 
M. Marshall. 
Wetherill & Bro. 
Wetherill & Bro. 
Wetherill & Bro. 
Philip Horn. 
Isaac H. Kay. 
Isaac A. Brad dock. 
C. R. Keeuey. 
Bullock & Ore shaw. 
John Keakirt & Co. 
John Wood. 
Wra. Procter, Jr. 
J. P. Milner. 



MARCH, 1 8 7 0. 

By Emil Schepfer, of Louisville, Ky. 

At the suggestion of a physician to make a preparation of 
Pepsin from the stomach of the pig, I was induced to make a 
variety of experiments, which I wish to bring to the notice of the 
readers of this Journal, and particularly those of the medical pro- 

Throughout my experiments I employed the finely-chopped 
mucous membrane, which I dissected from fresh, well cleaned 
pig's stomach. The first experiment was made by macerating 
the membrane with water, straining off the liquid, adding hydro- 
chloric acid and subsequently glycerin, the latter partly to give 
it consistence, but principally on account of its antiseptic prop- 
erties. The experiment was repeated a number of times, chang- 
ing the proportions of membrane and menstruum ; but it was 
found that by maceration with water alone too much mucus was 
dissolved, so that the liquid became quite gelatinous and did not 
clear itself, and therefore this process was abandoned. I next 
macerated the membrane in water, acid and glycerin mixed to- 
gether, and obtained a preparation from which, on standing a 
few days, the mucus held in suspension was precipitated and 
was entirely separable by filtration, forming a clear liquid. At 
the same time the preparation loses a peculiar disagreeable 
odor, which seems to be characteristic of the mucus. This odor 
seems to be developed during the maceration of the membrane, 
as the fresh stomach does not possess more odor than fresh pork, 
and that this odor is peculiar to the mucus is evinced by the 




liquid losing it in the same degree as the mucus precipitates. 
Upon these and subsequent experiments I have based the follow- 
ing formula for 

Liquid Pepsin. 

6 pounds mucous membrane of hogs' stomach are macerated 
in a mixture of 

4 pounds glycerin, 

4 pints water and 

6 ounces of pure hydrochloric acid, 
for thirty-six hours, after which the mass is put on a strainer, 
and when the liquid has drained, the membrane is macerated 
again with three pints of water for two or three hours, then 
strained, and this proceeding repeated with smaller quantities of 
water until ten pints of liquid are obtained. 

The resulting liquid will be found mucilaginous, very turbid 
and of a strong disagreeable odor. After standing a few days, 
however, the liquid becomes limpid, a precipitate of mucus forms 
and, by filtration, a clear light straw-colored liquid is obtained, 
possessing a faint and disagreeable odor. Liquid Pepsin, proper- 
ly prepared according to the above formula, is of such strength 
that one fl. oz., is capable of dissolving one and a half drachms 
of coagulated albumen, which of all albuminous and fibrinous 
substances I considered the best adapted for ascertaining the 
strength of an artificial gastric juice. This test was made by 
adding coagulated albumen, cut into small cubes, to one fluid- 
ounce of liquid Pepsin, keeping the fluid at a temperature of 
one hundred to one hundred and five degrees, and shaking it 
from time to time, until the albumen was dissolved. By re- 
peated experiments with at first smaller quantities I found that 
one and a half drachms of coagulated albumen will dissolve in 
one fluid-ounce of liquid Pepsin in from four to six hours. Care 
must be taken in conducting this test, that the temperature does 
not rise much higher than 105°, which in all probability would 
injure the solvent power of Pepsin, and when heated to the tem- 
perature of boiling water I have found it, by actual experiment, 
to lose all action on albumen. I would here remark, that 
albumen boiled two days before its use for experiments was dis- 
solved much slower than when freshly coagulated. Being now 



fully satisfied that the Liquid Pepsin had digestive power, that is, 
that it contains Pepsin, I undertook to examine some of the Pep- 
sins and preparations of Pepsin usually found in our market, in 
order to compare their solvent power upon albumen with that of 
my own preparation. In order to control the experiments, and 
to prevent errors from the difference in solubility of coagulated 
albumen boiled at different times, I accompanied each experi- 
ment with a proof test. This consists in exposing one and a 
half drachms of coap-ulated albumen to the action of one fluid- 
ounce of my liquid Pepsin simultaneously with the other Pep- 
sins, subjecting thereby each fluid to the same temperature, 
and shaking one vial as often as the other one, until the albu- 
men in my Pepsin was dissolved. This period I shall call the 
end of the process." 

Wine of Pepsin, prepared from the mucous membrane of the 
pig's stomach with sherry wine, was first tested. One drachm of 
coagulated albumen was subjected to the action of one fluid- 
ounce of Wine of Pepsin. 

The albumen did not dissolve, seemed on the contrary to get 
more compact, and the wine kept clear, while by all other ex- 
periments, where solution of albumen takes place, the fluid be- 
comes turbid. 

At the end of the process the albumen was taken out of the ■ 
wine, washed with water, dried on filtering paper and then 
weighed. The one drachm had lost only fifteen grains, which , 
loss I do not consider as having been dissolved, as the albumen . 
was firmer than before it was put into the wine, and felt like soft 
india-rubber between the fingers. I am confident that the loss 
is owing to water, which the albumen lost by the process. To 
determine whether the alcoholic strength of the Wine of Pepsin 
prevents the solution of albumen, the foregoing experiment was^ 
repeated, with the difference that one fluid-ounce of the wine was 
diluted with its volume of distilled water, but the result was pre- 
cisely the same. 

The same result was obtained with another portion of my own 
Wine of Pepsin, with Wine of Pepsin prepared by a -friend, with 
Wyeth's Wine of Pepsin and with Wyeth's Elixir of Pepsin. 

A fresh portion of mucous membrane was now extracted :witk 



sherry wine by maceration for eight days, after which time the 
membrane was removed and employed to prepare liquid Pepsin 
according to the formula given above. The resulting prepara- 
tion was found capable of dissolving one drachm of coagulated 
albumen, rendering it evident that wine had taken up little or 
none of the active principle of the mucous membrane. 

By making the Wine of Pepsin the mucous membrane does 
not swell up, as this is the case when liquid Pepsin is made; on 
the contrary it seems to contract; therefore I believe that the 
alcohol in the wine coagulates the albuminous substances of the 
membrane. The quantity of alcohol in sherry wine seems like- 
wise sufficient to prevent the Pepsin from being dissolved. To 
prove this assertion I added to one fluid-ounce of liquid Pepsin a 
mixture of half a fluid-ounce of alcohol and one and a half fluid- 
ounces of distilled water, thus forming a liquid containing sixteen 
per cent. of alcohol, about the percentage of good sherry wine ; 
which mixture, at first quite clear, became after a short time 
opalescent, cloudy, and after thirty six hours flakes of Pepsin 
had separated. The flakes were collected on a filter, drained, 
then dissolved in water acidulated with muriatic acid, and with 
a certain quantity of coagulated albumen exposed to a tempera- 
ture of 105°. This experiment was controlled by another one, 
in which the same quantity of albumen was added to the same 
quantity of water and muriatic acid. After several hours, at 
least three-fourths of the albumen in the experiment which con- 
tained the flakes had disappeared, while in the other one the 
albumen was not acted upon, thus proving beyond doubt that 
the flakes were indeed Pepsin. 

After these experiments I do not hesitate to say, that the so- 
called Wine of Pepsin does not contain any Pepsin at all, and 
that all the medical virtue of it has to be attributed to the wine 

BoudauWs French Pepsin. 

A. To one-half drachm mixed with one fluid-ounce of water 
was added one drachm coagulated albumen. 

B. To one-half drachm mixed with one fluid-ounce of water 
and fifteen drops of pure muriatic acid, was added one drachm 
coagulated albumen. 


At the end of the process the undissolved albumen was taken 
out, washed and dried from adhering water on bibulous paper, 
and then weighed. 

A. had lost twenty-four grains. 

B. had lost twenty-seven grains. 

That in these two cases a solution of albumen had taken place 
was plainly seen, as the remaining albumen was quite soft and 
by the least pressure formed a pulpy mass. 

Houghton s Dry Pepsin — made from calf rennet. 

a. One drachm of Pepsin, one fluid-ounce of water, and one 
drachm of coagulated albumen. 

/9. One drachm of Pepsin, one fluid-ounce of water, fifteen 
drops of muriatic acid and one drachm of coagulated albumen. 

At the end of the process, 

a had lost nothing ; the consistence of the albumen was 
about the same as before it was put into the solution. 
^ had lost ten grains. 

The remaining albumen was somewhat softer but not as pulpy 
as by the French Pepsin. 

Hawleys Liquid Pepsin. Of one and a half drachms of coagu- 
lated albumen, which were put to one fluid-ounce of this prepa- 
ration, at the end of the process one drachm and ten grains were 
undissolved, but it showed itself considerably softened. 

According to these experiments, one fluid-ounce of liquid Pep- 
sin would be equal in strength to one drachm and forty grains of 
Boudault's French Pepsin, to nine drachms of Houghton's dry 
Pepsin, and to four and a half fluid-ounces of Hawley's liquid 

The various wines which were tested cannot be classified with 
the Pepsin preparations, as they evidently contain no Pepsin. 

So far the experiments about my preparation proved satisfac- 
tory, but the question had to be answered yet, if in course of 
time, particularly in warm weather, the liquid Pepsin does not 
undergo any decomposition and thereby lose some of its medi- 
cal virtue ? To find this out, a vial with liquid Pepsin was 
placed in the neighborhood of the warm stove for five weeks and 
then examined again. The external appearance was entirely 

102 NOTICE OF M. Carre's apparatus for making ice. 

the same ; the color only seemed to have become a little lighter, 
the odor had entirely disappeared, and, by testing for its strength, 
the result showed that it had lost none, as one fluid-ounce dis- 
solved still one a half drachms of coagulated albumen. 

Before concluding, some remarks on the proper form of ex- 
hibiting liquid Pepsin may not be out of place. Some physi- 
cians and druggists to whom I have spoken, expressed them- 
selves in favor of elixir or wine, believing it would thereby be 
more pleasing to the palate. That the liquid Pepsin prepared in 
the above way is a clear liquid, not objectionable to the eye or 
palate, I have related above ; and the faint odor which it has 
when first prepared is so trifling, that those who are compelled 
to take such a medicine do not care for, when they find relief by 
it. A physician may add something to it to change the color 
and taste whenever he prescribes it, and in this case I would 
suggest some aromatic syrup ; but to add alcohol to it and make 
it up in form of an elixir, I am, by my experiments, utterly op- 
posed to. A medicine pleasing to the eye and agreeable to the 
palate is no doubt more acceptable to the patient, but when, as 
in many cases, the real value of a medicine has to be sacrificed 
to the external appearance, it ought to be discountenanced. 

Louisville y Ky., January^ 1870. 


By the Editor. 

A few weeks since we had the pleasure of visiting this appa- 
ratus in full operation at the machine works of Messrs. I. P. 
Morris & Co., of Philadelphia, where this firm have erected it 
under the supervision of the American representative of the 
patentee, Mr. Bujac, of New York. It will be recollected by 
some of our readers that M. Carre's invention consists in the use 
of ammoniacal gas liquified by pressure, as his agent for freezing 
water, which it does by abstracting and rendering latent the 
heat of the water necessary to its liquid condition. The manner 
of using the ammonia to efi'ect this purpose is exceedingly inge- 
nious, and apparently paradoxical, inasmuch as heat is applied 
to produce cold ; and this is the chief claim of originality made 


by the patentee, who also claims the application of the power of 
absorption due to mutual affinity as a means of producing vacuo, 
volatilization, the removal of heat, and the consequent produc- 
tion of cold. This machine is called " Jack Frost, Jr." 

Althougli the apparatus is complex, it does its work well, and 
makes three tons of ice per day when in constant operation. 
Without an outline engraving it will be impossible to convey to 
the reader a correct idea of its details, involving as they do much 
tubing ; yet we will endeavor to describe its principal features. 
It may be premised that the form of ammonia used is the con- 
centrated aqua ammonia, containing 26 per cent, of gaseous 
ammonia, and that there is a constant pressure in the apparatus 
when in full operation of about 200 pounds to the square inch, 
or thirteen atmospheres. 

The apparatus consists (1) of a cylindrical, dome-topped, verti- 
cal boiler^ about 9 feet high and 2J in diameter, into which 250 
gallons of the ammonia are introduced, part of which enters the 
exchanger, the complement and the absorption vase, to be des- 
cribed. A large tube issuing from the dome connects it with (2) 
the liquefaetor^ which is an extensive series of connected, nearly 
horizontal tubes, contained in a sheet-iron tank filled with cold 
running water. In this the gas, under the great pressure and the 
cold, is liquefied, its latent heat being carried olf by the cold 
water, whilst the liquid ammonia passes out at the lowest end by 
a small tube into (3) the recipient, where it collects. This vessel 
is connected by a tube with (4) the distributing valve, which dis- 
tributes it, by means of six small tubes of l-16th of an inch 
calibre, into six stacks of zig-zag tubes, contained in the freezing 
cistern. The freezing cistern consists of a wooden tank lined 
with iron, about five feet long, three wide, and three deep, in 
which are placed six lines of vertical zig-zag tubes above noticed, 
into which the liquefied ammoniacal gas enters from the dis- 
tributing valve. Between these, forty-eight copper cans or freez- 
ers, .filled with water, are placed, and the whole interior of the 
tank is filled with a bath of strong brine, or, preferably, solution 
of chloride of calcium, which is incapable of being frozen by 
the temperature produced, and is made to circulate between the 
tubes and freezing cans as a carrier of heat, by a stirring 

104 NOTICE OF M. Carre's apparatus for making ice. 

apparatus. The stacks of zig-zags connect at bottom with a 
cylindrical vessel called the collector. When now the distributing 
valve is partially opened, the liquid ammonia is forced in due 
proportion into the zig-zag tubes, where it rapidly expands into 
gas by the assumption of the heat necessary for its vaporization 
from the sarrounding brine, which in its turn abstracts the heat 
of the water in the cans (by virtue of which only it can retain its 
fluidity), and thus converts it into ice and accomplishes the 
chief purpose of the machine. But the apparatus, acting con- 
tinuously, now gathers the resulting ammoniacal gas, redissolves 
it in the weak liquor of the boiler which it has previously ab- 
stracted and cooled, and then returns it to the boiler to be again 
deprived of its gas. This remarkable compound result is eifected 
in this wise : The ammoniacal gas, after performing its office of 
rendering latent the sensible heat of the water, passes on first to 
the collector, and from this through a cooling tube to the absorp- 
tion vase (which consists of a cylindrical vessel enclosing a tall 
coil of tube, through which passes a constant current of cold 
water)" and there, after the machine has been working some time, 
it meets with the exhausted ammonia liquor, by which it is rapidly 
absorbed, and which thus regains its original strength. The 
manner in which the weak ammonia liquor reaches the absorption 
vase, and the regenerated liquor ammonise is returned to the 
boiler, all of which has to be effected under the heavy pressure 
of thirteen atmospheres, is as follows : By a syphon tube reach- 
ing to the bottom of the boiler the latter is connected with the 
double coil of the exclianger, which consists of a tall cylindrical 
iron vessel, about twenty inches in diameter. The lower end of 
the coil is connected with the lower end of another coil in a 
similar vessel beside it, called the complement^ the upper end of 
which coil enters the absorption vase at the top, and descends 
nearly to the bottom. At first the boiler, exchanger, comple- 
ment, and absorption vase are all charged with strong ammonia, 
but as soon as the heat under the boiler has driven off sufficient 
gas to create strong pressure, the weakened hot ammonia liquor 
is forced into the coil of the exchanger, where it is partially 
cooled by the cold ammonia of the absorption vase, which the 
pump has forced into the cylinder of the exchanger, ready to 

NOTICE OF M. Carre's apparatus for making ice. 105 

replace the weak liquor in the boiler. The weak liquor is then 
perfectly cooled as it passes through the complement coil, which 
is surrounded by very cold water, and it enters the absorption 
vase, rapidly absorbing the gas entering from the collector, and 
reproducing aqua ammoniae. Simultaneously the forcing pump 
of the machine is drawing the cool strong ammonia from the 
upper stratum in the absorption vase, and forcing it into the cyl- 
inder of the exchanger, where, after performing its office of cool- 
ing the weak liquor and becoming itself heated, it passes into 
the boiler near its top, impinging on a series of porous dia- 
phragms of metal suspended in the upper part of the still, to 
facilitate the rapid separation of the gas a second time. Thus 
it is apparent that the same aqua ammonias may be used over 
and over again, to an extent only limited by the perfection of 
the joints under the great pressure constantly existing. 

At starting the machine, all the cans are filled with pure 
water and closely covered with wooden lids, and when, after 
about four hours, they are frozen, the operator removes the ice 
from the first, third, fifth, seventh, &c., one every five minutes, 
until he has reached i\iQ forty-seventh, refilling each with water 
and returning it to its place as he goes, when he takes the 
series two, four, six, eight, ten, &c., to the forty-eighth, in the 
same way, when the other series is re commenced, and so on day 
and night, making three tons every twenty-four hours. Mr. 
Bujac says that on the 24th of October, 1869, an experiment 
with this machine yielded 2204 lbs. in eight hours, with a gain 
of 11° C, the bath being 6° below zero 0. at 8 o'clock, A. M., 
and 17° C. below zero at 4 o'clock, P. M. ; and he thinks the 
product would reach 7000 to 7500 lbs. in twenty-four hours if 
the boiler and tubes were covered with felt. To remove the ice, 
the cans are dipped momentarily in hot water, and then inverted. 
The cakes are uniformly rectangular, and as their temperature 
when removed is far below 32° F., by simply moistening their 
surface they cement perfectly to each other, and form solid 
blocks of ice of any required dimensions. 

Mr. Bujac had a shallow tank of wood, ten feet by thirty feet, 
arranged with a series of iron pipes just below the surface of the 
water it contained, when on attaching the machine the water was 


frozen so that boys skated upon it. The idea of applying the 
machine to the reduction of the temperature of large rooms for 
brewers and others who need a moderate heat in their processes, 
is at present being studied practically. We understand a ma- 
chine like the one described is worth $12,000, and when worked 
constantly will make about one thousand tons of ice per annum. 
Machines of ten tons per twenty-fours hours capacity are now at 
work in New Orleans, the price of which are $25,000. 
PhUadelplda, Feb. 10, 1870. 

By C. J. Rademaker, M. D. 

Always preparing sweet spirits of nitre according to the pro- 
cess of the U. S. P. and keeping it standing on crystals of bi- 
carbonate of potash, as first suggested by Mr. Harvey, of Leeds, 
I invariably observed a molecular change taking place in the 
crystals of bicarbonate of potash, without any perceptible solu- 
tion taking place. The irregular eight-sided prisms of bicar- 
bonate of potash gradually elongated themselves into needles 
about one inch in length. In order to find the cause of the 
molecular change, part of the crystals were collected on a filter, 
and washed with distilled water until all taste of nitrous ether 
was removed. The crystals were transferred to a beaker, and 
treated with concentrated sulphuric acid ; which was attended 
with an evolution of a large quantity of gas, which became red 
fumes of hyponitric acid as they ascended. 

From the above it will be seen that spirits of nitre will de- 
compose bicarbonate of potash, with the formation of nitrite of 
potash, carbonic acid, and ether, without any perceptible solution 
taking place. 

The ether with which the experiment was performed was per- 
fectly neutral, as it had been distilled from bicarbonate of potash 
two and three times ; for that reason no acidity could have been 
the cause of the decomposition. A solution of bicarbonate of 
potash added to one of spirits of nitre there is a ready decompo- 
sition, with the evolution of carbonic acid, formation of nitrite 
of potash and ether. Nitre, as prepared by some of our chemists 


on a large scale, is made to pass through a solution of alkali 
kept at the same temperature as that of the retort in which the 
nitre is generated, in order to free it from aldehyd. To this is 
probably owing the small amount of nitrous ether found in the 
spirit of nitre of commerce. 
Louisville^ Jan. ^Oth, 1870. 



By J. C. Wharton. 

To the Editor oftlie American Journal of Pharmacy : 

Dear Sir, — Some four or more years since I addressed to you 
an article upon the subject of muriated tincture of iron, and, if 
I mistake not, the same was published in the American Journal 
of Pharmacy for the month of November, 1865. I then made 
the statement that I had obtained a crop of singular crystals 
from a lot of the tincture. Since then I have seen nothing in 
any journal or circular that explained the production of the sub- 
stance in question. I am glad to state that I have at last gained 
a clue to the subject, and will in the outset say that I am fully 
convinced that the crystals are derived from the glass vessel in 
which the solution of iron is effected. A small amount of the 
vessel is dissolved (either from glass or porcelain ware), and 
crystallizes out of the solution in the form of silky white needles 
of a lustre something like asbestos. 

I must confess that soon after I made the announcement above 
mentioned, I was afraid that I had obtained the substance from 
some unknown and accidental impurity in the materials used, 
especially as I did not find it in another lot of tincture, neither 
could I find another druggist whose observations gave me any 
reason to believe that such a crystallization was at all common, 
— the reason for which I now comprehend, as the substance does 
not always appear in crystals, and sometimes not at all ; but 
most frequently is left behind either in the filter or in the dregs 
from which the supernatant clear solution of sesquichloride of 
iron is drawn previous to the addition of the alcohol. 

When it is to be found in the tincture at all, it is most apt to 


be in the form of a yellowish precipitate at the bottom of the 
bottle containing it. This is the same, or a part of the precipi- 
tate called in the U. S. P. sesquioxide of iron ; by some other 
authorities, a basic oxide or chloride of iron. I am not prepared 
to say that the precipitate commonly noticed in the tincture of 
iron, as obtained by the subcarbonate process, is not sometimes a 
pure sesquioxide of iron, occasioned, as stated in the U. S. P., 
by the change of a small amount of protochloride to sesquichlo- 
ride and sesquioxide, the latter substance precipitating from a 
deficiency of acid. But I am satisfied that if much or prolonged 
heat is employed in dissolving the iron, the precipitate will not 
be a pure sesquioxide, but will contain an appreciable quantity 
of the substance obtained from the glass of the vessel used in 
the process. I feel sure that this peculiar substance exerts a 
notable influence in the formation of the well known precipitate, 
if it is not in reality the cause of it, as may be shown in one 
process of obtaining the crystals from the tincture of iron. To 
prove w^hether or not they were derived from the glass of the 
vessel, I made a gallon tincture of iron by the old U. S. P. pro- 
cess, adding to the subcarbonate of iron about three-fourths of 
an ounce of very finely pulverized glass, before introducing the 
muriatic acid. But to be plainer, I give it in the form of a 
recipe : 

Take of Subcarbonate of Iron, 12 troyounces. 

White Glass, in very fine powder, 6 drachms. 

Muriatic Acid (commercial), 2J pints. 

Alcohol, 6 pints. 

Introduce the subcarbonate of iron and glass into a flask, or 
any suitable vessel, and add the muriatic acid. After efi'erves- 
cence has subsided (or nearly so), place the vessel over a fire 
and boil gently until the liquid begins to be but slightly muddy- 
looking, or until the sesquioxide seems nearly dissolved. (It 
will not be clear.) Have the alcohol warmed, but not boiling, 
and mix both the liquids together well. Filter immediately 
through ivhite filtering paper (made stronger than usual). Set 
the clear tincture aside for three or four days, that crystallization 
may place. At the end of this time a quantity of small 
granular crystals will be found on the bottom and sides of the 


bottle containing the tincture. Just at this point two modes of 
procedure may be adopted. First, the tincture may be decanted 
dear from the crystals, which may be then redissolved in a small 
amount of boiling muriatic acid, diluted with an equal measure 
of alcohol, filtered rapidly while hot, and set aside for crystalli- 
zation ; or secondly, the tincture may be heated by a water-bath 
to boiling, without removing the granular crystals. In this case 
a copious yellowish-brown precipitate will take place identical in 
appearance with the well known precipitate from tincture of iron 
as made from the subcarbonate. This precipitate may be col- 
lected and dissolved in boiling muriatic acid and alcohol as in 
the first manner, and set aside to cool and crystallize. Three or 
four ounces of the acid and alcohol will probably dissolve the 
greater part of the precipitate, but if much has formed it will 
take proportionally more. After crystallization has taken place 
they must be collected on a filter of white paper, and washed 
with a little diluted alcohol and rinsed with distilled water, when 
they may be dried in any convenient way. 

The crystals may be made by the above recipe, omitting the 
subcarbonate of iron and acting on the glass alone, and proceed- 
ing exactly in the same way. 

Having detailed the process of obtaining the above substance, . 
a few remarks upon its properties will not be amiss. 

There seem to be at least three modifications of it, or perhaps 
three difierent combinations of it with other substances. 

First. The granular state, — the result of its primary crystalli- 
zation from the fresh hot tincture after several days. (They 
begin to form as soon as the tincture cools.) 

Second. The yellowish-brown precipitate obtained by boiling 
the tincture in contact with the first or granular crystals. This 
seems to be the same precipitate so often noticed in the tincture 
of iron. The action of the heat, and perhaps etherification, ap- 
pears to accomplish in a few minutes what ordinarily takes weeks 
and months to do the same. 

Third. The white, silky crystals, the most remarkable of all 
its forms, and about which the whole of this has been written. 
These crystals may be heated to dull redness, with but little 



If placed in contact with the blue portion of any ordinary gas- 
jet, they will first shrink to about one- third of their bulk, from 
apparent fusion of the silky fibre. After a short time they begin 
to glow with dazzling brightness. A small cluster of the crys- 
tals should be stuck on the point of a common steel pen, and 
held against^ but not inside of, the blue flame. 

If decomposed by a boiling solution of potassa a precipitation 
occurs, and if muriatic (or perhaps any strong) acid is added, 
solution will be effected. Strong alkaline solutions will again 
precipitate, and acids dissolve, alternately for a great number of 

Oxalic acid precipitates the solution last spoken of. 

The color produced in a blue flame is reddish. 

The crystals are sparingly soluble in cold water or dilute acids, 
quite soluble in strong hot muriatic acid. Tasteless before burn- 
ing, but alkaline after having been in a strong heat. 

In composition it is probably a silicate of lime (is it ?). 

Nashville, Tenn., Jan. 28, 1870. 

By Hiram Yan Sweringen, Fort Wayne, Ind. 

Our Pharmacopoeias and Dispensatories have, as a general thing, 
cautiously kept pace with the scientific progress of the age ; and 
in tracing them from their origin to the present time, while it is 
gratifying to observe the gradual influence of knowledge in re- 
ducing the number of their articles, — simplifying the composition 
of their formula, — and improving the processes for their prepa- 
ration, it seems necessary that considerable precaution should be 
exercised in reference to the rapidity with which such reduction 
is being made, a consideration of the position, merits and de- 
merits, of those articles to be expelled and the reasons for their 

In Dr. E. R. Squibb's report as chairman of the committee 
upon the revision of our national Pharmacopoeia, which was read 
in Chicago at the last meeting of the American Pharmaceutical 
Association, it appeared to me, that he made a furious attack at, 
and picked to pieces our present standard of medicinal.prepara- 


, tions, upon no other reason than that many of them conflicted 
apparently with the progress of the science of chemistry to which, 
if I mistake not, he is mostly attached. 

While it is very evident that chemistry has been the means of 
establishing the identity of many bodies which were long con- 
sidered different, causing an extensive list of animal substances 
to be discarded from former Pharmacopoeias upon the ground 
that they owe their properties to one and the same principle, as 
to gelatine, albumen, carbonate of lime, &c., &c., and that the 
fixed alkaline salt produced by the incineration of different vege- 
tables has been found to be potash, from whatever plant it may 
have been obtained, with the exception of a few which yield soda 
and ammonia. 

But from the very nature and object of a Pharmacopoeia, it 
cannot be supposed to proceed pari "passu with the march of 
chemical science ; indeed it would be dangerous that it should, 
for a chemical theory should be examined by the light of expe- 
rience before it should become current. A Pharmacopoeia, how- 
ever, is always an object of abuse because it is a national work 
of authority, and its title to respect and claim to utility is daily 
questioned among the pharmaceutical and medical fraternities. 
Prominent, undoubtedly, among other objects in the report of Dr. 
Squibb— -who by the way is one of the wheel-horses — if I may be 
allowed the expression — of chemistry and pharmacy in this 
country, by whose invaluable assistance those sciences have so far 
progressed, and society has been so much benefitted — was the 
provoking among the members of the association an honesty high- 
toned and scientific^ general discussion, whereby truth might be 
elicited, and science advanced. 

Experience has fully established the value of many medicinal 
combinations, which at the time of their adoption could not receive 
the sanction of any chemical law. By referring to our present 
Pharmacopoeia, Prof. Parrish's Pharmacy and other standard 
pharmaceutical and medical works of this country, we will observe 
combinations of this nature in which the chemical decompositions 
which would naturally constitute an objection to their use, are in 
fact the causes of their utility, a fact which has thrown conside- 
rable light upon the theory of medicinal combinations. 



We never profit more than by those unexpected results of ex- 
periments which contradict our analogies and preconceived theo- 
ries. Whenever a preparation is found by experience to be 
effectual^ should the practitioner listen with extreme attention to 
any chemical advice for its correction or improvement ? From a 
mistaken notion of this kind the " extractum colocynthidis com- 
positum " was at one period in its history, with a view of rendering 
it chemically compatible with calomel, deprived of its soap, which 
previously had entered into its composition, and in consequence 
of which its solubility in the stomach was so materially modified, 
its activity impaired, and its mildness diminished, that it was 
found necessary to reinstate it. Substances may be medically 
inconsistent, which are cJiemically compatible. The stomach has 
a chemical code of its own, by which the usual affinities of bodies 
are frequently modified, often suspended, and sometimes entirely 
subverted. It has been found that copper swallowed in its me- 
tallic state was not rendered poisonous by meeting with oils, or 
fatty bodies, nor even with vinegar in the digestive organs. Other 
bodies, on the contrary, seem to sustain the same relations to 
each other in the stomach as in the laboratory, and are alike in- 
fluenced in both situations by the chemical action of various 
bodies, many examples of which are to be found under the con- 
sideration of the influence which solubility exerts upon the medi- 
cinal activity of substances. 

Acidity in the stomach is neutralized by alkalies, and if a car- 
bonate be employed, we have a copious disengagement of carbonic 
acid gas, which is frequently very distressing to the patient. 
Many bodies taken into the stomach undergo changes and de- 
compositions in transitu^ independent of any play of chemical 
affinities, from the hidden powers of digestion. 

As Pharmacists^ then, should we not protest against the pre- 
vailing custom among those who are devoting most of their time 
and attention to chemistry and the manufactures dependent upon 
that science, of examining and deciding upon the pretensions of 
every medicinal compound in which we have long had the utmost 
confidence, simply by a mere chemical investigation of its com- 
position ? and of rejecting as fallacious every medical testimony 
which may appear contradictory to the results of the laboratory ? 



What kind of an appearance would the Dispensatory of 1870 
present, if the expulsion of so many preparations as is advocated 
by Dr. Squibb were consummated ? What innumerable disadvan- 
tages the pharmacist and physician would be subjected to in conse- 
quence. What an immense field would open out to the gaze of 
the empiric. What a traffic in non-officinal preparations would 
be instituted, resulting in the most fearful incongruities, — thereby 
defeating the grand objects and use of a national pharmacopoeia. 
I do not wish to be understood as advocating the generally con- 
ceived opinion that a pharmacist cannot err if he implicitly obeys 
the dogmas of his authority, (the Pharmacopoeia,) for it partakes 
of our own natures and is consequently imperfect, and a too strict 
adherence to it would have a tendency to oppose the progress of 
reason, the advancement of natural truths and the prosecution of 
new discoveries. Our present Pharmacopoeia, perhaps, would 
have been more perfect had it not been that, to give general cur- 
rency to a hypothetical opinion, or to a medical reputation of an 
inert substance, requires only the talismanic aid of a few great 
names, and when once established upon such a basis, ingenuity, 
argument, and even experiment, may open their ineffectual bat- 
teries. It is an instinct in our nature to follow the track pointed 
out by a few leaders ; we are gregarious animals, in a moral as 
well as a physical sense, and we are addicted to routine, because 
it is always easier to follow the opinions of others than to reason 
and judge for ourselves. The laconic sentiment of the Roman 
satirist is ever opposed to our remonstrance : 

' " Did Marcus say it was a fact ? then fact it is ; 
No proof so valid as a word of his." 

In conclusion, my fellow pharmacists, let us be actuated by 
studious reflection rather than by established habits. 

By C. J. Rademaker, M.D. 
Having had frequent occasion to prepare this oxide of chro- 
mium, the following process was resorted to : Bichromate of 
potash was decomposed in the usual way by SO'^HO, the CrO^ 



separated, and reduced by means of SO^. The reduction may 
be explained by the following equation : 

2CrO^+3S02 = Cr^O^+SSO^ 
The sulphuric acid formed combining with the oxide of chromium 
to one equivalent of sulphate of chrome. The sulphate of chrome 
was decomposed by ammonia ; the chromit oxide was washed 
with boiling water and dried. 

This preparation has been used with great success in this city 
by Dr. Wilson and others, in the treatment of cholera infantum 
and other complaints of the alimentary canal. 

Dr. F. C. Wilson, of New York, first informed me of its 
beneficial effects in these complaints, and at his suggestion the 
preparation was made. Its mode of action I am not able to give, 
but it is probably that of an astringent and tonic. 

Louisville, Ky.^ Jan. 9, 1870. 


By William Silver Thompson. 

The unrecorded experience of many pharmacists who have 
prepared collodion and collodion cotton has probably been like 
my own, an alternation of successes and failures; and without at- 
tempting a review of what has heretofore been written on the 
subject, I offer the following remarks and formulas ; not laying 
much claim to originality, except in some points considered es- 
sential to successful results in conducting the processes : 

For preparing collodion cotton I prefer a mixture of nitric 
and sulphuric acids of the officinal sp. gr. to the sulphuric acid 
and nitrate of potassa mixture of the Pharmacopoeia of 1860, as 
being less troublesome, less expensive and affording a better re- 
sult. The most important point to be observed in the acid mix- 
ture process is to have the nitric acid of the officinal sp. gr. The 
sp. gr. of the sulphuric acid is not of so much importance ; an 
acid somewhat stronger than the officinal may be used, but in no 
case of a less sp. gr. When the acids are mixed in a suitable 
glass vessel it should be covered with a plate of glass and placed 
in a vessel of cold water until the temperature of the acid mix- 


ture is reduced to 70° or 80° Fahr., when the cotton may be im- 
mersed and allowed to remain from one to twelve hours, or even 
longer. At the temperature of 110° Fahr. a good cotton may 
be made in one hour, but above that temperature much waste 
and sometimes damage to the cotton ensues. 

A cause of failure in preparing collodion cotton is probably in 
using too large a quantity of cotton to the amount of acid mix- 
ture used. Sixty grains of cotton cannot be properly immersed 
in two fluid-ounces, but I have succeeded in every instance when 
only thirty grains were used. After the cotton is immersed in 
the acid mixture there should be a sufficient excess to allow it to 
flow freely over and through the fibres, so as to insure contact 
with every particle. When the larger quantity of cotton is used 
it is almost impossible to immerse it properly, hence there is 
always a portion not thoroughly acted on by the acid, and which 
is necessarily to the same extent insoluble. 

Washing the cotton is another important part of the process. 
When the quantity operated upon is small this may be accom- 
plished without difficulty, by simply throwing the whole into a 
large bulk of water and keeping the temperature down by agita- 
tion with a glass rod ; but with larger quantities it is necessary 
to proceed more cautiously, to avoid a great and sudden elevation 
of temperature, to the waste and damage of the cotton. A good 
plan is to take up a small quantity at a time on the end of a 
glass rod and immerse it in cold water, keeping it in motion 
until a large portion of the acid is removed, and so on until the 
whole is cooled. It may then be washed in the usual manner to 
free it entirely from acid. 

Collodion cotton prepared as above retains its toughness of 
fibre, and is readily and entirely soluble in equal measures of 
stronger ether and stronger alcohol, with the exception of a 
minute amount of flocculent substance, which is deposited on 
standing. When the cotton is prepared with the acid mixture 
at a temperature considerable above 110° Fahr. the fibre is short 
and weak, and the cotton will be found to have increased but 
little or none in weight, owing to its solubility in the acid at an 
elevated temperature. This cotton, which is also very soluble, 
is said to be preferred by photographers, but is not so good for 


pharmaceutical purposes as that prepared at a lower tempera- 

Collodion Cotton. 
Take of nitric acid, sp. gr. 1*42, one fluid-ounce ; 

Sulphuric acid, sp. gr. 1*84, one fluid-ounce ; 

Cotton freed from impurities, thirty grains. 
Mix the acids in a beaker glass or other convenient vessel ; cover 
with a plate of glass and place it in a vessel of cold water until 
the temperature is reduced to 70° or 80° Fahr., when remove 
the glass from the water and immerse the cotton. At the expi- 
ration of twelve hours wash the cotton with cold water until free 
from acid, and dry it at a moderate temperature. 


Take of Collodion cotton, six grains or a sufficient quantity ; 

Stronger ether, one fluid-ounce ; 

Stronger alcohol, one fluid-ounce. 
Mix the ether and alcohol in a three ounce vial and add the 
collodion cotton. Agitate the mixture occasionally until the 
cotton is dissolved. 

Collodion paper has been introduced into use by photographers. 
This may be prepared in the same manner as collodion cotton, 
by immersing strips of pure, thin, unsized paper. It is more 
(Easily washed than cotton and makes a very pure and transpa- 
rent collodion, using the same menstruum for its solution as for 
collodion cotton. If a sufficiently pure paper can be obtained at 
a moderate price, I think it will entirely supercede the use of 
cotton. Chemically pure filtering paper answers the purpose 
admirably, while tissue paper does tolerably well but is not so 
good. I have not succeeded so well with white printing paper, 
owing probably to its thickness. 

Cantharidal Collodion. 
Take of Cantharides, in fine powder, a troyounce ; 
Collodion cotton, a sufficient quantity ; 
Stronger alcohol, a sufficient quantity ; 
Stronger ether, a sufficient quantity. 
Itloisten the cantharides with four fluid-drachms of stronger al- 
cohol and pack it in a glass percolator of proper size, arranged 

ON Campbell's process for making fluid extracts. 117 

for displacement,iwith the lower end closed with a cork. Pour 
on the contents of the displacer four fluid-drachms of stronger 
ether and cover it with an accurately fitting plate of glass. At 
the expiration of twelve hours displace with a mixture of stronger 
ether and stronger alcohol in equal measures until two fluid- 
ounces are obtained, which set aside in a three ounce vial. Con- 
tinue the displacements until one fluid-ounce more has passed 
through. Allow this to evaporate spontaneously and dissolve it 
in the first two fluid-ounces of percolate obtained, to which add 
six grains of collodion cotton, or a sufficient quantity to make 
the cantharidal collodion of the proper consistence. Agitate the 
mixture occasionally until the cotton is dissolved. 
Baltijnore, Md., February, 1870. 


By Henry C. Archibald. 

Esteemed Editor — Feeling, as I do, a lively interest in all 
that pertains to the advancement of Pharmacy, and having read 
with interest Mr. Campbell's process for the manufacture of 
fluid extracts, together with comments thereon, I determined 
myself to apply his theory of percolation (which, by the way, is 
an old one) upon a few drugs, and to submit for inspection my 
views of the same. We all know that what is most wanted in a 
fluid extract is that the active constituents of the drug be fully 
and wholly represented, without, or at least, with as little de- 
composable matter as possible, at the same time to have a men- 
struum of uniform strength, capable of holding, without precipi- 
tation, the active matter so taken up. These qualities, with but 
few exceptions, are attainable by the processes of the U. S. P., 
which afford most excellent products. In order to determine 
whether Campbell's process possessed that merit, which the author 
claimed, a few experiments were made, with the following re- 
sults : 

1st. 16 troyounces of Jamaica ginger of the requisite fineness 
to pass through a No. 40 sieve, were moistened with f^4 of a 
menstruum, composed of alcohol three-fourths and glycerin one- 


fourth, the whole thoroughly incorporated and transferred to a 
conical percolator, covered with a disk of filtering paper, upon 
which the remaining f^l2 of menstruum were poured. When 
the percolate had penetrated the sponge, placed in the neck, a 
cork was inserted, and the whole was allowed to stand four days ; 
after which, the cork being removed, the percolate was allowed 
to drop into a receiving vessel. Finding that all the menstruum 
had been absorbed, f^ 16 of alcohol were added, and f^ 15 of 
extract were obtained as the result. Pouring on another f^, 
the preparation was brought up to its requisite volume. The 
fgl6 thus obtained were set aside, and percolation continued 
with alcohol, until f^l6 of exhausted liquor had passed, which 
were allowed to evaporate spontaneously. The residue consisted 
of resin and glycerin, the amount of resin present being 80 
grains, or one and one-twenty-fourth p. ct. of the weight of the 
drug employed. 

2d. Wild cherry bark, of requisite fineness, was carefully per- 
colated with a menstruum, consisting of equal parts of glycerin 
and water. The result was an intensely dark extract, possess- 
ing the characteristics and odor of the bark in a marked degree. 
After obtaining the fluid extract, percolation was resumed with 
water, to find the amount of undissolved extractive matter, 
which was six p. ct. The exhaust obtained by continued per- 
colation with water was highly colored and possessed a marked 
odor of the drug, showing evidently that the bark was not fully 
exhausted. The process for the manufacture of this fluid ex- 
tract is extremely simple, the only doubt arising in my mind is 
whether the glycerin is capable of arresting fermentation, to 
which aqueous preparations of this drug are so liable. 

3d. 16 troyounces of select rhubarb were reduced to a suf- 
ficiently fine powder to pass through a No. 40 sieve, moistened 
with fj6 of a menstruum composed of glycerin one-fourth, water 
one-fourth and alcohol one-half, and treated in the same way as 
in the fluid extract of ginger. It required 24 additional fluid- 
ounces of dilute alcohol to displace f^l6 of the extract, which 
were set aside, and percolation resumed with dilute alcohol until 
the drug was thoroughly exhausted. The alcohol was recovered 
by distillation, the residue transferred to a water bath and al- 


lowed to evaporate to the consistence of honey. Upon exam- 
ination it proved to contain a large amount of glycerin, together 
with a very large proportion of extractive matter. The whole, 
when concentrated as far as possible with the means at my dis- 
posal, weighed no less than 5J troyounces. Allowing one-half 
to be glycerin it would leave 2f troyounces of extract not dis- 
solved by the first 16 fluid-ounces of menstruum. 

In order to demonstrate whether the exhaust contained any 
virtues, I first took of the extract, after concentration, f^ 1 ; 
effect, gentle laxative. Next day I repeated the dose and in- 
creased it at the same time to f5 3 ; result, decidedly cathartic* 

In order to demonstrate that the above experiment was cor- 
rect, I made another displacement of rhubarb. The results were 
so nearly identical that it confirmed me as to the impracticability 
of the process. 

Similar experiments were made with valerian and cinchona 
rub., botli of which have proven that, no matter how long the 
maceration, or how slow the displacement, it is impossible to 
fully obtain all the active matter of a drug in 16 fj of percolate. 

Although admitting that when the percolation is properly 
conducted, and the nature of the drug well understood by the 
parties manipulating, a fluid extract can be obtained, which will 
very nearly represent the full activity of the drug, without sub- 
jecting it to ^he injurious eff"ects of heat during evaporation ; 
still the product is not what it is represented to be, and is not 
of the strength directed in the U. S. P. Again, the difficulty 
and amount of care required to properly conduct the process 
is so great, that, by incompetent hands, and often even by those 
who are well versed in the system of percolation, very variable 
and inferior preparations must evidently be the result. 

It is apparent that, in order to make Campbell's process prac- 
ticable, a total revision of the Pharmacopoeia, relating to the 
subject of fluid extracts, would be necessary ; if a fluidounce of 
the extract were made to represent a half ounce of the drug, 
there is no doubt but that this system would become very useful 

* Query. — Would not a menstruum composed of three-fourths alcohol 
and one-fourth glycerin dissolve more of the active constituents of the 


and popular, as then the whole of the active matter could be 
fully extracted without difficulty. 

There still arises the question, whether glycerin is capable of 
arresting fermentation in all preparations wherein it takes the 
place of sugar. It is well known that it possesses great pre- 
servative powers, but whether it would meet every emergency, 
time alone can determine. The writer does not think it neces- 
sary to further enlarge upon the matter, but leaves it to the 
careful consideration of all who feel interested sufficiently to 
fully investigate the subject. 

PJdladelphia, Feb., 1870. 

By John M. Maisch. 

On pages 449 to 459 of the Proceedings of the American 
Pharmaceutical Association for the year 1858, there is printed a 
very valuable paper by Frederick Stearns, which is entitled 
" The Peppermint Plantations of Michigan," was copied at that 
time into many American and European periodicals, and is now 
frequently referred to in standard works on materia medica. It 
is stated in this paper that the weed which appears in the mint 
plantations is ErecJitliites hieraeifolia^ known by the common 
names of horse-tail, cow's-tail, mare's-tail, field-broom, bitter- 
weed and fireweed. Mr. Stearns states, after Asa Gray, that 
Erechtliites grows in moist woods and recent clearings, but does 
not explain the contradicting fact that the same plant should ap- 
pear in peppermint plantations during the second year, and in- 
crease from year to year. The habit of Erechthites^ as I have 
noticed it near Philadelphia, is correctly stated in botanical 
works ; it appears in new" clearings, particularly where the ground 
has been burned over, but it disappears from cultivated open 
fields. Notwithstanding this irreconcilableness, there was no 
apparent reason for doubting the correctness of Mr. Stearns' 
statement, since the plant is very easily recognized and the facts 
are stated with positiveness. 

In October last Messrs. Powers & Weightman referred to me 
a letter from Mr. C. A. Ensign, of Centreville, Mich., together 


with two plants, which proved to be Erigeron canadense, Lin., 
and EreeJithites Meracifolia, Raf., and were named correctly by 
Mr. Ensign, who, to use his own words, is not acquainted with 
botany ; he further observed in his letter : " Peppermint grown 
on 7iew grounds, or those just cleared, is quite likely to be mixed 
with true fireweed [Erechthites) ; but the colt's-tail (^Erigeron), 
commonly known among farmers here as fireweed'^ also, is far 
more prevalent in our mint fields, and almost always is the cause 
of what is called ' weedy oil,' though sometimes it may contain 
Erechthites, and in a few instances the distillation of rag-weed 
(Roman wormwood). "f 

The druggists in Mr. E.'s neighborhood stated that he Avas 
wrong in naming the plants as he did ; they relied on the U. S. 
Dispensatory, the statements of which are based upon Mr. 
Stearns' paper, who probably never saw the weed growing among 
peppermint, and merely named it after Gray, whose botany con- 
tains the ordinary names most widely known. Mr. Stearns' 
mistake led to the other errors ; but it is to be regretted that 
there are apothecaries who do not feel sufficient interest in medi- 
cal botany as to be able to tell Erechthites from a species of 

Feeling interested in the subject, I corresponded with Mr. 
Ensign, who lives in the mint region and raises peppermint; he 
very kindly answered several of my queries, and since he is 
evidently a careful and shrewd observer, it will be best to give 
such portions of his letter, dated Nov. 4th, 1869, as may seem 
to be of particular interest, and may serve to correct the errors 
of others. 

"The Erigeron,'' he writes, " is known in northern Ohio and 
this vicinity as horse-tail, mare's-tail, colt's-tail and cow's-tail, 
besides having acquired the name fireweed in this locality. It 
not only grows among mint, but springs up in the wheat stubble 
and pastures. In the latter it grows more plentiful the first year 
after the grain crop is taken from the land, and where the seed- 
ing is light. I have noticed it growing plentifully this year in 
an old sod pasture. 

* My italics; the following is underlined in Mr. Ensign's letter. J. M. M. 
\ Ambrosia artemisioefolia, Lin. 


" You have named the usual course of the weed in our mint 
fields,* except that the fourth year plowing, to continue the mint 
and kill the weed, is not now practiced here. 

''The 'June grass ' (a veritable grass, but I have no means 
just now of giving you the botanical name), as also stated, some- 
times grows in mint, but I think this grass yields very little dis- 
tilled matter. I cut a field of third year mint this season that 
had grown largely to both red and white clover, but I think the 
clovers yielded very little, if any, to the distillation. On the 
other hand, Erigeron yields about twice what the same bulk of 
mint usually does (or did so for me this year, which has not been 
so favorable for large yield of mint according to bulk, though 
the season has been favorable for a large growth). The growth 
of the clovers and grass in the mint may be said to be occasionaL 
Besides these, I have seen horse-sorrelf attaining a thrifty growth 
with mint, and I have seen ragweed (Roman wormwood) growing 
in it, and one field was grown over with young shoots of sassafras 
(which last must produce a good deal of adulteration in the oil) ; 
but these may be said to be seldom. 

'^Erechthites is to be found in mint fields, but only on new 
lands or those never before cropped ; and in such fields it is to 
be found in the first year's mint, about stumps, rough places, 
and in patches where brush, &c., were burned in clearing. I 
presume Erechthites grows some the second and following years 
also, but have not not iced. X It might be supposed that the tilling 
would keep these down the first year, as Erigeron is kept down 
the first year in old lands ; but it is to be understood that farm- 
ers favor new lands in the openings for mint, as they need but 
comparatively little tillage for it, Erechthites being the princi- 
pal weed to grow (and that where wood has been burnt). But 
the harvesting of the first crop of mint being unlike that of the 
following crops, better opportunity to reject the Erechthites is 

* After Mr. Stearns' paper quoted above. — M. 

t Query : Oxalis stricta or Rumex acetosella ? — M. 

$This observation is undoubtedly correct, since Erechthites does not 
inhabit cultivated or open fields ; its occurrence in mint fields during the 
second year must be very rare, and it probably never grows in these fields 
afterwards, unless in close proximity to partly burned stumps. — M. 


given, so I am inclined to think few crops are much affected with 
this weed, Erigeron being the chief cause of adulteration ; by 
* weedy oil' is commonly meant that containing Erigeron (that 
is, in this vicinity). 

" Oils are often colored by rust from the boilers and pipes, 
and by causes I am unable to give as yet ; perhaps too much 
heat, or by reason of the mint being cut too green or young. 
Formerly, when copper stills were used, the oil was milky in 
appearance, and was then all filtered (through paper). Most of 
the oil is sent away (generally to New York) after one distilla- 
tion, but occasionally a bad looking lot is re-distilled, or filtered 
through animal charcoal and sand, the filtering said to waste less 
and take away all color. I do not hear of any further process 
of rectifying mint oil." 

The information contained in this letter is of great interest, 
and if Mr. Ensign carries out his intention of sending me samples 
of the various oils, it is not improbable that some chemical tests 
may be observed, which may be of value for detecting the usual 

The point which has been undisputably settled is that Erigeron 
eanadense is the pest of the western mint fields, and the admix- 
ture of the oil of peppermint with the oil of this weed I believe 
is calculated to explain several circumstances. Our American 
oil of peppermint is exported to Europe in considerable quanti- 
ties, but both in Europe and this country it does not command 
the price of European oil, the latter being usually rectified, and 
much superior in odor to our more rank American oil. Careful 
distillation of well selected fresh herb, and subsequent careful 
rectification, may remedy this defect. 

Pure rectified oil of peppermint, when exposed to the air, 
thickens very slowly, while some of our commercial oil in a com- 
paratively short time acquires the consistence of sweet oil, and 
is even turned into a thicker oleoresinous liquid. This is proba- 
bly due to the presence of oil of Erigeron ; the latter at least, 
when kept in partly filled vials, which are occasionally opened, 
soon becomes thick, and finally forms a transparent varnish. 

Commercial oil of erigeron is but little acted upon by powdered 



iodine; its behaviour is similar to that of oil of peppermint, and 
the admixture cannot therefore be detected by iodine. A relia- 
ble test for the presence of this adulteration is requisite ; when 
discovered, the mint growers will probably find it to pay better 
to prepare pure oils of erigeron and of peppermint, and the latter 
properly rectified will then undoubtedly come nearer to the finer 
European oils, and yield a better profit to the maker. On the 
other hand, there is no good reason why oil of erigeron should 
not be much lower in price than it is at present, if it should come 
into more extended use as a medicinal agent, the plant not re- 
quiring cultivation and yielding fully as much oil as peppermint. 

It may be mentioned incidentally, that Erigeron Canadense 
is one of those North American weeds which has spread over a 
considerable part of the civilized world. 

From Poppies grown at Hancock, Vermont, by Mr. C. M. Robbins. 
By William Procter, Jr. 

On the 18th of January the writer received a sample of about 
an ounce of opium from Messrs. Rosengarten & Sons, with the 
information (in the form of a copy of a letter from Messrs. Howe 
& French, of Boston, Mass.) that it was received from Mr. 
C. M. Robbins, of Hancock, Vermont, who raised the pop- 
pies producing it from foreign seed, which had cost ten dollars 
per ounce. The opium was obtained by scarifying the capsules 
in the manner it is done abroad, and the exuded juice collected 
and dried in the sun, when it turns dark colored. No leaves, 
or capsules or other foreign substance is admixed, but its con- 
sistence is that of an extract rather soft than firm, but the soft- 
ness does not appear to be due so much to moisture as to its caout- 
choucoid character, as after long drying it lost but five per cent, 
of its weight, and broke with a short, shining fracture when quite 
cold. The entire crop of this experiment was 11 ounces, and 
in its odor and taste closely resembles good Turkey opium. In 
a letter from Mr. Robbins, since shown to me by Messrs Rosen- 
garten & Sons, he sa,ys, " I planted about 15 square rods of 
land [about one-tenth of an acre] in poppies, rows two feet 



apart, hills one foot apart. It was in growth from June 1st to 
October 1st. The heads were punctured only once a day, in 
the afternoon ; we cut several small gashes in the sides, being 
careful not to cut through the inside. The opium was scraped 
off the next morning and dried on plates in the sun. In my 
opinion we did not get over half the opium that might have been 
obtained. The poppy seed was not planted early enough by 
two or three weeks. The poppy grows well and seems hearty, 
and requires dry soil." 

One hundred grains of this opium was rubbed with water in 
a mortar until the whole was emulsionized. After standing 
several hours with occasional agitation it was thrown on a tared 
filter, and after draining, the dregs were well washed with water, 
dried, and weighed 33 grains. The liquid thus obtained was 
carefully evaporated, at a moderate heat, to six fluidrachms, 
mixed with its bulk of alcohol and filtered ; 30 grains of aqua 
ammoniae, sp. gr. 960, mixed with three times its bulk of alcohol 
was slowly added with constant stirring until a decided excess 
was obtained, well stirred, and allowed to stand 24 hours. The 
ammonia caused an immediate granular precipitate, which in- 
creased on standing. At the end of the period mentioned, it 
was collected on a tared filter, thoroughly washed with cold 
water and dried. The precipitate was of a uniform light drab 
color, and weighed 18*2 grains. It was now boiled in repeated 
portions of ether, washed on a filter with that liquid and then 
dried, when it weighed 16*25 grs. This substance has the prop- 
erties of morphia, being. reddened by nitric acid, blued by ses- 
quichloride of iron, but is colored. It was therefore dissolved 
in repeated portions of boiling alcohol, the solution filtered and 
evaporated and crystallized. The filter was well washed, and, 
on drying, the brown matter weighed 0*5 gr., making the yield 
of crystallized morphia 15*75 grs. 

The ethereal washings of the morphia precipitate yielded 
nearly 2 grains of crystalline matter, which formed a clear yel- 
low solution with nitric acid, consisting chiefly of narcotina, 
with a little brownish amorphous matter around the edge of the 

The liquid from which the morphia precipitated was found to 



yield a deep red coloration with sesquichloride of iron, and was 
treated with a slight excess of chloride of calcium, the gelatinous 
precipitate collected on a filter, washed, suspended in a fluid- 
ounce of water at 190° F., an excess of dilute hydrochloric 
acid added, filtered hot, and allowed to stand some hours. 
The crystalline granular precipitate of bi-meconate of lime was 
collected and treated with hot diluted hydrochloric acid, when 
the meconic acid in colored crystals, separated on standing, was 
washed and dried. 

The original undissolved residue of the opium, weighing 33 
grains, was now treated with coal oil benzine, nearly pure, uAtil 
exhausted, and the dark liquid evaporated until all the benzine 
was removed. A soft elastic residue of caoutchouc was obtained, 
weighing 11 grains. This probably contained some narcotina 
and other principles as resin and fixed oil, but it was not further 
treated — the chief object of its extraction being to show by its 
quantity a sufficient cause for the softness of the opium in the 
absence of the usual percentage of moisture. 

The residue left by the benzine was incinerated in a platinum 
crucible, yielding 0*5 gr. of light fawn colored ash. 

The result from 100 grains, therefore, is as follows : 
Morphia, . . . * . . . . 15-75 

Narcotina, impure, ....... 2-00 

Meconic acid, ....... 5*25 

Caoutchouc, fatty matter and resin, .... 11*00 

Insoluble residue (including 0*5 of ash) . . . 22-00 
Matter soluble in water, other than salts of morphia and 

narcotina, as gum extractive, etc.,* . . . 38-50 
Water, 5-00 

Messrs Rosengarten & Sons meanwhile made an examination 
of this opium for morphia, for their own satisfaction, and ob- 
tained about 15 per cent., which corroborates this result for that 
ingredient, the discrepancy in amount being due to more careful 
manipulation in this assay. 

No examination was made of the gum or extractive ingredi- 
ents. On the whole it may be inferred that the opium obtained 

* No attempt was made to isolate either codeia, narceia, meconia or 
other well defined principles of opium existing in small quantities. 



by Mr. Robbins is pure and of extraordinary strength, indicat. 
ing it to be the inspissated juice of the capsule of the poppy, 
unmixed with either organic or inorganic adulteration, and it is 
to be hoped that the producer will, in the coming season, give 
his earnest attention to another and more extended experiment, 
particularly in relation to the extraction of the juice so as to 
avoid loss. The quantity of soil under culture in this instance 
was about one-tenth of an acre, and the product was worth at the 
market rate per single pound ($14. t = $9.62) worth nearly 
$10 or about $100 per acre. If, as Mr. Robbins says, he obtained 
only half of the juice, this result may be doubled. Too much 
stress cannot be laid on the importance of keeping the product 
unmixed with impurities, and especially extractive matter as 
an adulteration, as in Mr. Wilson's so-called opium, which is 
almost wholly an extract of the leaves of poppies. 

By J. B. Moore 

In the last revised edition of the U. S. Pharmacopoeia (1860) 
two of the officinal syrups are directed to be made by simply 
mixing the fluid extracts of their respective drugs, in proper 
proportion, with simple syrup, a departure from the usual mode 
of operating which I think is open to very serious objection, in 
view of the great uncertainty of the strength and quality of fluid 
extracts, as it is well known to the pharmaceutical profession at 
large that fluid extracts are the most unreliable of all Galenical 
preparations. If all apothecaries were adepts in percolation, 
and were qualified by much practice to manufacture fluid ex- 
tracts for themselves, this would in some measure justify the ac- 
tion of the committee of revision. And if they were so qualified, 
how few would take the trouble to do so when they can buy them 
so cheaply, or else why is it that so many large wholesale manu- 
facturers of this class of pharmaceutical preparations can find a 
market for their products. 

We all know that it is a very convenient and expeditious way 
of making a syrup, to prepare it from a fluid extract ; but I hold 
that the uniform quality and standard strength of any medicinal 



agent should not be sacrificed nor placed in jeopardy for the 
sake of convenience or the saving of a little trouble and labor, 
and especially not in a preparation so important as that of syr. 
of ipecac. This method, therefore, should never have been 
sanctioned by so high an authority as that of the U. S. Phar- 
macopoeia. I deprecate it, not only on account of its liability to 
aiford inefficient and unreliable preparations in the instances re- 
ferred to, but also because of the evil consequences that are 
likely to ensue from the example. It is establishing a prece- 
dent which is apt to engender and encourage a laxity of practice 
in the manufacture of other pharmaceutical preparations, which 
would be highly prejudicial to the best interests of medicine and 
pharmacy. Apothecaries may feel justified thereby, and I think 
with much propriety, in following the same short method in mak- 
ing other similar preparations. Now if this practice is generally 
adopted, and I know that it is followed by many apothecaries, 
it will offer to the medical profession a sorry set of medicinal 
agents with which to combat disease. 

Unfortunately the fluid extracts from which the two officinal 
syrups named above are ordered to be prepared are among the 
most difficult and unsatisfactory to make. Complaints of the 
fid. ext. ipecac, are almost universal, and there are but few who 
can make it in a satisfactory manner for making the syrup, 
owing to the difficulty of completely separating the resinous 
matter, which causes an unsightly precipitate when added to 
simple syrup and mars its beauty and transparency. 

I am well aware that the old formula for syr. ipecac, U. S. P. 
1850, was very unsatisfactory, on account of the tendency of 
the syrup as made by it to fermentation, but I think that it has 
been supplanted by one still more objectionable. These remarks 
will also apply to the formula for syrup of rhubarb, and I hope 
to see these two formulas expunged from the next revised edi- 
tion of that authoritative work, U. S. P., and in their stead good 
practicable and easily-worked formulas substituted, by which 
any pharmacist of ordinary intelligence may be enabled to make 
their preparations in a correct and reliable manner, directly 
from their respective drugs, and not by means of uncertain fluid 


Owing to the great instability of many of the officinal syrups, 
much dijfficulty and annoyance have been experienced by phar- 
macists in their preservation, for a long period in warm weather. 
No matter how carefully prepared, certain of these syrups are 
liable to spoil if long kept, and in consequence of this tendency, 
apothecaries are obliged to make them in small quantities at a 
time, in order to avoid loss. 

Various means have been proposed for the preservation of 
syrups, and many expedients have been resorted to, but none 
seem to have effectually accomplished the object. Many of the 
agents recommended for this purpose are both pharmaceutically 
and medicinally objectionable. Some adopt the plan of putting 
the syrup, while hot, into bottles, corking tightly and keeping 
them in a cool place ; but this is troublesome and but few will 
do it, and even after this precaution has been observed, the 
syrup, when opened and transferred to the shop bottle, is still 
liable to spoil, unless used in a short time. 

With the view of conquering this difficulty in some of the 
more important officinal syrups, such as those of ipecac, and rhu- 
barb, mentioned above, and senega, scilla comp., wild cherry, 
&c., the writer has been engaged for the last year in a series of 
experiments for the purpose of devising a set of formulas for 
these syrups, by which they may be made not only more effi- 
cient and reliable, but also sure as to their stability. 

The formula and process for the syrup of ipecac. I present 
below, and the result of my efforts with the others will be given 
in this Journal as soon as the process for each is perfected and 
thoroughly tested. 

Take of Ipecacuanha in powder, No. 60, two troyounces. 
Acetic acid, sixty minims. 

Glycerin, eight fluidounces. 

White sugar, in coarse powder, eighteen troyounces. 

Diluted Alcohol, of each a sufficient quantity. 
Moisten the ipecac, with alcohol, pack it firmly in a cylindrical 
glass percolator, then gradually pour upon it, first, two fluid oz. 
of alcohol ; wh^n this has been absorbed, pour on gradually eight 




fiuidounces of a mixture consisting of two parts of alcohol to 
one part of water, and w^ien this has all passed from the sur- 
face, continue the percolation with diluted alcohol until ten fluid- 
ounces of tincture have been obtained, observing to set aside in 
a plate or shallow dish, in a warm place, the first two fiuidounces 
which pass, that they may evaporate spontaneously to a syrupy 
consistence. Then mix the acetic acid with the remainder of 
the percolate and evaporate carefully in a water bath, with fre- 
quent stirring, until reduced to two fiuidounces and a half; add 
to this the reserved portion, and mix the whole with ten fluid- 
ounces of water, and continue the evaporation until the mixture 
is reduced to twelve fiuidounces, and when cool filter through 
paper, and pass sufficient water through the filter to make the 
filtered liquid measure twelve fiuidounces. To this, in a bottle, 
add the sugar ; shake occasionally, and when dissolved add the 
glycerin, and strain through muslin. 

When there is need to finish the syrup quickly, the solution of 
the sugar may be hastened by placing the bottle in hot water 
and shaking frequently. 

The above formula aff*ords a clear, bright and beautiful syrup, 
free from cloudiness or precipitation which so frequently occurs 
when made from the fiuid extract. 

I have a sample of this syrup made in July last, which, al- 
though it has been kept in a warm place in my store-room, in a 
bottle but partially filled, and frequently opened, is nevertheless 
apparently as fresh and sweet now as the day it was prepared, 
and I feel confident that it will keep for an indefinite time, un- 
altered at any ordinary temperature. 

In manufacturing it on a larger scale, the greater portion of 
the alcohol may be recovered by the use of the still. 

In the above process I have employed acetic acid to fix the 
emetia during the concentration of the tincture, as suggested by 
Prof. Procter in fiuid extract of ipecac. 

Glycerin has proved to be, in the writer's experience, an ex- 
cellent and efficient auxiliary to sugar as an antiseptic agent in 
the preservation of syrups, and its general character and proper- 
ties are so in harmony with those of the latter that it is peculi- 
arly qualified for the above purpose. 


Good glycerin has now become so low in price, costing but from 
thirtj-three to thirty-five cents per pound, that to make use of 
it in the preparation of syrups adds but a trifle to their expense. 

Twenty-five per cent, of glycerin, with the proportion of sugar 
employed in the above formula, will keep almost any syrup. 

In estimating the additional cost of making syrup with glycerin, 
as above directed, it must be borne in mind that the quantity of 
sugar required is thereby greatly reduced. In a quart of the 
above syrup, but eighteen instead of thirty troy-ounces of sugar 
are employed, consequently the glycerin adds but about ten 
cents to the cost of the whole product, — a matter too trivial to 
be taken into account when its advantages are considered. 

As an addition to all the pectoral and expectorant syrups, 
glycerin is useful not only as an antiseptic, but also on account 
of its enhancing, in a measure, their medicinal virtues, and as a 
means of diminishing the amount of saccharine matter in them 
its advantages are obvious. 

PhiladelpJiia, February^ 1870. 

By the Editor. 

Sulpho-carbolic acid and its salts were among the derivatives 
of phenyl which the fertile mind of Laurent worked out of the 
products of coal tar as early as 1841, describing it under the 
name of sulpho-phenic acid. Only of late, however, since car- 
bolic acid has had its therapeutic and antiseptic properties more 
fully developed, has the attention of medical men been attracted 
to this acid and its salts. Mr. C. H. Wood, F.C.S., in a paper 
published in the Pharmaceutical Journal for January, 1869^ says 
that Dr. Sansom had shown to the Medical Society of London 
the sulpho-carbolates of potassium, sodium, and magnesium, and 
recommended them as antiseptics in cholera and zymo-tic diseases 
generally ; and that Mr. John Wood, of Kings College Hospital, 
in the Lancet of Dec. 7th, 1868, states that sulpho-carbolate of 
zinc "is prescribed in aqueous solution of from 8 to 6 grs. to the 
ounce as an injection in the treatment of gonorrhoea,, and also as- 
a dressing for wounds and sores." 


In a recent letter from Dr. Frederick Hoffmann, of Sixth 
Avenue, New York, he says, in speaking of the sulpho-carbolate 
of zinc : " Recently it has been introduced into the hospitals of 
the Berlin Charite with such success that it has been adopted 
among the remedies of that famous institute. To all appearance, 
this salt, and perhaps other sulpho-phenates, may become a 
valuable and permanent addition to the materia medica. 

" The zinc sulpho-phenate is said to combine the therapeutical 
virtues of both its constituents ; its preference to phenol or to 
the phenates is said to depend on the gradual disengagement, 
and consequently upon the more continuous and uniform action 
of the phenol. The same may hold good with still greater pro- 
mise for the internal use of this or other sulpho-phenates. 

I have prepared the sulpho-phenates of zinc and of sodium. 
The former has been tried, at my suggestion, by several physi- 
cians of New York, with entire satisfaction, in solutions of 3 to 
5 grains per ounce, as a dressing to wounds and burns, as a gargle 
for the mouth or nose, and as an injection in gonorrhoea, etc." 

In this city Dr. Freeman and others have used these salts to 
a considerable extent, and with decided success, especially in 
ozoena, and as it is therefore probable that they will get into 
general use, we have prepared the following notice : 

Sulpho-carbolic acid is constituted like sulphovinic acid, though 
much more stable than the latter. According to Gmelin (Hand- 
book, vol. xi, p. 157), its formula is Ci2Hg02, 2SO3, whilst Mr. 
C. H. Wood gives it as (C6*H5)H SO4. It is formed, according 
to Laurent, by mixing carbolic acid with an excess of sulphuric 
acid, letting the mixture stand twenty-four hours, and then, after 
dilution with water, saturating it with carbonate of baryta at the 
boiling temperature, filtering out the excess of carbonate and the 
sulphate formed, evaporating the filtrate to crystallization, the 
crystals recrystallized from alcohol and washed with a small 
quantity of alcohol, and finally decomposing its solution with an 
equivalent of SO3, HO, and evaporating the filtrate in vacuo. 

The acid in a free state, however, is not needed in purity, and 
the latter part of the process may be avoided. The baryta salt 



is very convenient for obtaining the salts of other bases by 
double decomposition with their sulphates, the baryta being re- 
moved by the filter as sulphate. 

According to E. Menzner (Chem. News, Jan. 3, 1868, p. 10), 
this acid is prepared by heating equal equivalents of carbolic 
acid and sulphuric acid in a water bath, diluting, after standing 
twenty-four hours, with water, neutralizing with carbonate of 
lead, filtering and decomposing the plumbic sulpho-carbolate 
with hydrosulphuric acid, and carefully concentrating the filtered 
solution first by heat and afterwards in a dessicator. 

For the purposes of the pharmaceutist, Mr. C. H. Wood re- 
commends the direct saturation of the crude acid (formed by 
mixing two volumes of pure carbolic acid with one volume of oil 
of vitriol in a glass flask, and heating the mixture to 290° F. 
for five minutes, allowing it to cool, and diluting with six or 
eight volumes of water) with the bases or their carbonates, and 
depending on crystallization to purify them. In this mixture 
there is a portion of uncombined sulphuric acid, which makes it 
necessary to purify all but the first crystallization by treatment 
with alcohol, to separate the insoluble sulphates. It appears to 
us that there is a loss sustained by this process, a portion of the 
carbolic acid is also uncombined, and that after mixing the acids 
and heating them it is better to allow them to stand twenty-four 
hours before saturating. This is the plan we have adopted in 
making the soda, zinc, and magnesia salts. When the acids are 
mixed a reddish color is developed, which grows deeper by stand- 
ing, and stains the salts a light rose color. Laurent notices this 
peculiarity. In adopting the baryta process this is avoided in 
great measure. Dr. Hoffmann prepared his salts from the baryta 
salt, which he made " by digesting in a water bath, at a tem- 
perature near the boiling point of water, a mixture of equal 
weighli^parts of crystallized and previously melted phenol (car- 
bolic acid) and sulphuric acid sp. gr. 1-84 during forty- eight 
hours, or until the mixture formed a clear solution with water. 
The acid mixture is then diluted with an equal bulk of water, 
and gradually added to freshly precipitated carbonate of baryta 
suspended in water until the carbonate is nearly all dissolved, 
when the solution of sulpho-phenate of baryta is ready for use." 


Siilplio-carbolate of Soda. — Having had occasion to prepare 
this salt several times in quantities varying from a few ounces to 
more than a pound, we have used the following formula, which 
is very easily carried out, and may be found useful where this 
salt is needed to be made promptly, viz. : 
Take of Pure Crystallized Carbolic Acid (Calvert's). 

Sulphuric Acid (1-84 sp. gr.) 16 troyounces. 
. Distilled Water, three pints. 

Crystallized Carbonate of Soda, a sufficient quantity. 

Melt the carbolic acid in a bath of w^arm water and mix it 
with the sulphuric acid gradually added in a quart flask. Con- 
siderable heat is developed, which is increased bj^ using direct 
heat until the temperature attains 280° Fahr. It is then 
allowed to stand, in a warm place, for 12 hours. Dissolve in 
the water, set aside a fiuidounce of the solution and add the 
carbonate of soda, previously powdered, with constant stirring 
until saturation is approached, then proceed cautiously, to avoid 
an excess of alkali which deepens the rose color, using the re- 
served solution to insure its correction if, by accident, the so- 
lution is alkaline. (An advantage has been derived from using 
the bicarbonate of soda in the carbonate.) 

The solution is now filtered, evaporated at 150° Fahr. to 
three pints, and set aside where it will cool slowly for 24 hours, 
to crystallize. The crystalline crusts should be broken up so as 
to drain in a glass funnel, and washed with a little ice cold 
water to remove the colored mother water, and then dried on 
bibulous paper, unless desired quite colorless, when it should be 
dissolved in hot water and again crystallized ; but for all ordi- 
nary medical use the first crystallization, which amounts to about 
22 ounces, is sufficiently pure, whilst the entire amount of the 
salts formed is more than 37 ounces. With the greatest care 
there appears to be free sulphuric acid, consequently sulphate 
formed, which is a great objection to the direct process for mak- 
ing the soda, zinc, and magnesia salts. Sulpho-carbolate of 
soda crystallizes in colorless rhombic prisms, and are permanent 
in the air, though containing water of crystallization. For this 
reason the mixed crystals of sulphate and sulpho-carbolate are 
easily distinguished on exposure, the former efflorescing. It is 


soluble in five parts of water at 60° Fahr., and also soluble in 
alcohol and glycerin. It is not precipitated hj solution of chloride 
of barium unless sulphate of soda is present, and as the latter is 
the most probable impurity when made in this way it is a good 
test of purity. When heated in a gas jet the acid is decom- 
posed, leaving sulphate of soda and sulphuret of sodium. 

SulphO'Carholate of Zinc is made by the direct process by 
saturating the hot aqueous sulpho-carbolic acid with carbonate 
of zinc free from iron, filtering and concentrating the solution 
at 150° F., and setting it aside to crystallize. The evaporation 
must not be pushed too far, else some sulphate crystals will be 
found. By throwing the mother liquid into sufficient alcohol, 
the sulphate will be precipitated and the sulpho-carbolate re- 
tained. This salt crystallizes readily in brilliant scaly crystals, 
which are soluble in two parts of water at 60° F., and in five 
parts of alcohol, according to Hager. 

Sulplio-Carholate of Lead. — This salt is easily made by satu- 
rating the hot watery solution of impure sulpho-carbolic acid 
with carbonate of lead, filtering hot and evaporating, if neces- 
sary, to the point of crystallization. As in making the baryta 
salt, the free sulphuric acid present is precipitated as an in- 
soluble sulphate, thus separating it completely. It crystallizes 
less readily than the soda and zinc salts, is very soluble in 
water and soluble in alcohol and glycerin, is not precipitated by 
chloride of barium in weak solution, but gives the usual reaction 
with iodide of potassium and sulphide of ammonium, and its base 
is not precipitated by a current of carbonic acid. When, how- 
ever, the salt is dried, on redissolving either in water or alcohol 
a residue is left, which is at once dissolved by acetic acid. Sul- 
pho-carbolate of lead may be used as a cheaper substitute for the 
baryta salt to procure other salts by employing it in equivalent 
proportions with the sulphate of the base wanted — the lead 
falling as sulphate — when on filtration and evaporation the salt 
is obtained. Its therapeutical character is yet to be determined, 
but it is quite probable that in those diarrhoeas where the ace- 
tate of lead is indicated, and especially those accompanied by a 
condition corrected by carbolic acid, this salt may be found 



useful. Its solubility in glycerin and in alcohol will enable it 
to be used in lotions with advantage. 

Sulplio-Carholate of Lime is readily made by the same pro- 
cess, and in this case the free sulphuric acid is also separated in 
the process as sulphate of lime. The proportion of the acid is 
much larger in this salt than in some others. It is also soluble 
in less than its weight of water at 60° Fahr., soluble in alcohol 
and to some extent in glycerin. 

SulpJio-Carholate of Quinia. — When crude free sulpho-car- 
bolic acid is saturated with pure quinia, an oil like compound is 
formed, which gradually dissolves in the water and has a dark 
brown color. Supposing the impurity of the acid was the cause 
of this condition, an alcoholic solution of sulpho-carbolate of lead 
was mixed with one of sulphate of quinia in alcohol, the solution 
filtered from the sulphate of lead and spontaneously evaporated, 
when the quinia salt separated in the same oily condition, but 
on standing some days it became a nearly white solid, with a 
crystalline structure. It is exceedingly bitter, not very soluble 
in water, but soluble in alcohol. 

By Dr. Hager. 

The preparation of this salt presents no difficulties if pure 
crystallized phenol and pure monohydrate of sulphuric acid are 
operated on. Equal weight parts of both are digested at about 
125° F. for two to three days. When the phenol is pure a clear, ^ 
yellowish, thick liquid is obtained, which on cooling deposits 
conglomerations of crystals (probably uncombined phenol), but 
which soon congeals to a white crystallized mass. Although all 
conditions are present to combine all the sulphuric acid with the 
phenol, yet there remains always, and no matter how long the 
digestion may be continued, a surplus of about 10 per cent, sul- 
phuric acid. For this reason it is advisable to mix 120 parts of 
sulphuric acid to every 100 parts of phenol. After two or three 

* Translated from Dr. Hager's Pharmaceutischer Centralhalle, No. 1, 
1870 (January 6, 1870), by Dr. F. Hoffmann. 



days the combination is accomplished, and the mixture is then 
diluted with ten times its bulk of water. Now twice as much as 
the quantity of sulphuric acid operated upon, or better, a little 
more, of dry barium carbonate, is gradually added (to 120 parts 
(h S,' 245 parts Ba o). The latter had better be triturated with, 
some water before it is added to the acid. Under evolution of 
carbonic acid barium sulpho phenate is formed, a salt soluble in 
water and in alcohol. At the same time any excess of free sul- 
phuric acid is neutralized and transformed into barium sulphate. 
The whole is allowed to stand in a warm place for some hours, 
and is then filtered through a damp filter ; the remainder on the 
filter is washed with some warm water. The filtered solution of 
barium sulpho-phenate may be evaporated to dryness, whereby 
it remains behind as a white salt deprived of its water of crystal- 
lization. This is soluble in two parts of water. A small quantity of 
this barium salt is retained, the balance is dissolved in water in the 
proportion of 10 parts of the first to 30 — 40 parts of the latter. 
To this filtered solution a solution of 6 parts crystallized zinc- 
sulphate in about 18 parts of water is added. Of this zinc so- 
lution a small quantity is also retained. Now, after leaving the 
mixture on the water bath for several hours, about 10 drops of 
the supernatant solution are diluted in a test tube with about 
100 drops of water ; this being divided in two parts, the one is 
examined with some drops of the retained zinc-sulphate solution, 
the other with the barium sulpho-phenate solution. If any re- 
action ensues in either case, the one or other of the retained 
solutions has carefully to be added to the bulk of the solution, in 
order to accomplish the exact decomposition. A slight excess of 
zinc sulphate should, however, prevail, so that the barium may 
be completely precipitated. 

Finally, the filtered solution of zinc sulpho-phenate is evapo- 
rated under continual stirring until a drop, when allowed to fall 
on a cold glass plate, congeals to a salt mass. The liquid is 
then allowed to cool under frequent stirring, and the resulting 
salt mass is dried in a w^arm place. When completely dry it 
forms a white salt. 

The evaporation of the solution of the barium sulpho-phenate, 
its re-solution and the filtration, are only required when a phenol 



has been operated on which was not palpably pure. "When this, 
however, is the case, the solution of barium sulpho-phenate may 
be decomposed, without any further operation, by the zinc-sul- 
phate solution, with the precaution to retain some of the first 
solution in order to meet an accidental excess of the zinc so- 
lution. For every 100 parts of phenol operated upon, 152 parts 
of crystallized zinc sulphate may be added, of which only one- 
twelfth may be retained for further addition if required. 

The preparation of zinc sulpho-phenate may be facilitated by 
the use of perfectly pure reagents. When they have been mixed 
and combined in the above stated proportions and process, the 
warm solution, after having been diluted with twice its bulk of 
water, is gradually neutralized with zinc-oxide (free of oxide of 
iron). When no more oxide is dissolved the warm solution is 
allowed to cool, and is then filtered ; the filtrate is evaporated to 
nearly half its original bulk, and is then mixed and shaken with 
ten times its volume of alcohol (90 — 92 per cent,), and the mix- 
ture is allowed to stand in a cool place for several days. The 
zinc sulphate separates as a powder ; the supernatant alcoholic 
solution of zinc sulpho-phenate may either be directly evaporated 
to dryness or the alcohol may first be restored by distillation, 
and the evaporation may then be accomplished. The residue is 
white zinc sulpho-phenate of a purity that it yields with barium 
chloride but a slight reaction. 

One equivalent phenol, or phenyl-alcohol, forms, with two 
equival. monohydrate of sulphuric acid, a compound ether, sulpho- 
phenic acid (C^gH^O, SO3+ HO, SO3). This, when combined 
with barium oxide, forms C12H5O, SO3 + BaO, SO3,* and, with 
zinc oxide, the corresponding zinc salt. The barium salt, when 
crystallized from its aqueous solution, forms rhombic ct'ystals, 
with three equivalents water of crystallization ; the zinc salt, 
when crystallized, forms bright lamellas, with seven equivalents 
crystallization water. The officinal salt derived by exsiccation 
is deprived of the water of crystallization ; it dissolves in two 
parts water of medium temperature, and in five parts alcohol of 
90 per cent. 

The preparation of zinc sulpho-phenate from a not quite pure 
^ Nomenclature and notation are that of Dr. Hager. 



phenol yields different results. The sulpho-phenic acid is then 
dark colored, and the solutions of the salts therewith prepared 
have a pink color. The zinc sulpho-phenate when crystallized 
has a pink color ; when desiccated, a reddish tint. This colora- 
tion, however, does not at all impair their medicinal value and 
their therapeutical action. 

These more or less colored solutions of the zinc sulpho-phenate, 
when near the end of their evaporation, emanate a remarkably 
fine odor, resembling that of pelargonium. This observation 
may likely trace to a new source a fine perfume. Some of our 
most brilliant colors are derived from a similar origin. 

Zinc sulpho-phenate combines the therapeutical virtues of zinc 
sulphate and of phenol. Its solution for injections is obtained 
by dissolving 1 part of the salt in 150 to 200 parts water. 

By G. a. Zwick. 
To the Editor of the American Journal of Pharmacy : 

If the remarks below be acceptable, you may insert them in 
your Journal. They are made, of course, without desire to 
criticise Dr. Squibb's article on this subject in your last number^ 
but simply to present a view from the prescription counter as 
well as from the laboratory. 

A titrated tincture of opium is no doubt of as much import- 
ance as the requisition of the Pharmacopoeia — that the concrete 
juice of the poppy" contains at least seven per cent, morphia. 
Dr. Squibb's suggestion, that the term "concrete juice" is en- 
tirely indefinite, according to the amount of moisture, is equally 
true and appropriate. He proves that it may contain all the 
way from seven to fifteen per cent, of morphia, and yet be within 
the pale of ofiicinal requirements. 

These points admitted, make an assay of opium, whether it be 
intended to be used as a powder or for the purpose of making 
tinctures, almost indispensable. I have tried Dr. Squibb's pro- 
cess, and succeeded wdth it, but it is probably better adapted for 
the laboratory than the apothecary, who would desire to examine 
opium without reference to liq. opii compositus (Squibb). For a 
quick and equally accurate result I would suggest the following: 


Take 100 grains of powdered opium, triturate and work well 
with sulphuric ether in a mortar, with pestJe, pouring off into a 
filter and renewing the ether until the opium ceases to impart 
color to the ether. After the filter and the opium have drained 
off and dried, turn them back into the mortar, cut up the paper 
with scissors, add warm water gradually, and work paper and 
opium into a pulp ; finally add sufficient water to make an ounce 
or thereabouts, set this aside for twelve hours to macerate, then 
strain through flannel and return the expressed residue into the 
mortar, working it over as before with warm water ; strain again, 
and repeat this manipulation until the washings become tasteless, 
or until the liquor ceases to acquire a reddish tinge with a drop 
each of nitric acid and tinct. chloride iron. This strained liquor 
is then filtered and evaporated, and worked for morphia, either 
according to Dr. Squibb's process (omitting the washing with 
ether, of course), or according to the Pharmacopoeia process, ob- 
serving Dr. Squibb's direction — to cover the liquor with a water 
joint. To be sure that no morphia is lost, the liquor should 
have 48 hours' rest. After the first day there is sometimes a 
small gain in crystals ; that for morphiometrical purposes it is 
not necessary to decolorize the crystals. Dr. Squibb mentions 
distinctly, and this is a great saving of time and morphine when 
working with small quantities. 

Exhausting this powdered opium dry, with ether, will be found 
a saving of time and ether, as also, from actual trial, I found the 
manipulation of the opium in a mortar, and pressing the liquor 
through a strainer, to exhaust the opium with half the menstruum 
that is required to exhaust by washing through a filter. This 
same experience I have formerly often made in making tinctures ; 
by using a powerful press it would only require half the amount 
of menstruum to exhaust that percolation needed to leave the 
dregs tasteless. 

The number of grains of morphia obtained from 100 grains 
of opium of course represents the percentage, and it will also 
hardly be necessary to add that the same care and accuracy that 
is enjoined by Dr. Squibb in weighing, &c., is indispensable here. 

As opium is cheapest about November and December, this 
would be the best time, as a rule, to lay in a supply for the year, 



which could then be powdered and tested ; and in this way uni- 
formity could be obtained, by one or two tests, for an entire year. 

In regard to the liquor opii comp., Squibb, I should be with 
the framers of our Pharmacopoeia, — i. e., regard it rather in the 
light of an extemporaneous prescription than a formula proper • 
for the officinal list. It may be well to suggest a corrigent to 
physicians, and Dr. Squibb truly says, physicians might take 
counsel in this direction occasionally to advantage but it is 
doubtful whether so active an addition ought to be made for 
general purposes, and by the addition of alcohol, which must be 
made to hold the chloroform and ether, the watery solution of 
opium which the Pharmacopoeia intends is entirely lost sight of. 
Besides, the nature of ether and chloroform is such that the 
latter half of a IHb bottle, unless used in large quantities, would 
probably contain little or none, or at least, as Dr. Squibb him- 
self states, an indefinite quantity ; and if this combination is not 
always desirable, — and this ought to be left to the judgment of 
the physician, — then the liq. opii comp. cannot displace or re- 
place the tinctura opii deodorata of our present Pharmacopoeia. 

In Europe the tendency now is to simplify the Pharmacopoeias, 
and establish a uniformity, abolishing complex formulas. This 
is instanced by the consolidation of the Dublin, London and 
Edinburgh Pharmacoposias, also the final adoption of a Pharma- 
copoeia Germanise ; further, a pressure to adopt universally the 
French system of weights and measures. A similar inclination 
should get a footing here, and I am sure Dr. Squibb is the last 
man to impede the wheel of progress. A multiplicity of formulas 
may work confusion. We have now an old compd. liq. opii, a 
new compd. liq. opii, and a eompd. tinct. opium according to Dr. 
Squibb. Such formulas may be convenient to some, — supplying, 
as it is called in Germany, a pons asinorum, — but most physicians 
prefer to make their own prescriptions, though we have one doctor 
here who prescribes Dr. Squibb's liquor opii oomp. in quantities 
•of six ounces, without regard to the admonition of Dr. Squibb 
himself, that the greatest skill in using such preparations (if 
they are not to become hobbies) is to know when not to use them." 
This same practitioner prescribes Wright's Vegetable Pills, Mare- 
trisi's Catholicon, and Smith's Wild Cherry Cough Balsam." 
Covington, Ky., Feb, 9th, 1870. 



By H. Treverton Bond. 
The introduction of glycerin has worked many radical changes 
in pharmacy, and that there are yet many uses to which this 
admirable substance can be applied there is not the slightest 
doubt. One of the most important purposes mentioned in con- 
nection with its further utilization is its substitution for sugar in 
the syrups at present in use. There are many reasons to sup- 
pose that quite a number, if not all, the present officinal syrups 
could profitably be replaced by glycerates. [See page 177 for 
Glyceratus simplex^ by the same author. — Editor.] 

The objections to syrups are well known and numerous. They 
are liable to ferment in the shelf bottles ; they ferment in the 
stomach, and to many persons are nauseating and disgusting 
when taken in the quantity necessary to obtain a medicinal dose 
of the active ingredient or ingredients. One of the syrups that, 
in my estimation, can be very beneficially replaced by a glyce- 
rate is aromatic syr. rhei, and having succeeded in preparing 
such an article resulting in an elegant and handsome pharma- 
ceutical preparation, I herewith send formula. 
Take of Rhubarb, in moderately fine powder, 2J troyounces. 
Cloves, Cinnamon, each in fine powder, J troyounce. 
Nutmeg, in moderately fine powder, 2 drachms- 

Glycerin, IJ pints. 

Diluted alcohol, 1 " 

Water, . q. s. 

Mix eight ounces of the glycerin with the diluted alcohol, then 
mix the powders, and having moistened them with f^iij of the 
mixture, introduce into a conical percolator and gradually pour 
on the glycerin and diluted alcohol mixture until a pint and a 
half of the tincture is obtained, (displacing the last portions, if 
necessary, with water) ; add the rest of the glycerin to the tinc- 
ture, then add sufficient water to measure seven pints, and mix 
thoroughly together and filter. 

The result is a handsome preparation, identical in strength 
with the syr. rhei. aro. of the U. S. Pharmacoepia, and posseses 
none of its objections while it has many advantages ; it can be 



administered in much larger doses, and thus reach cases where a 
syrup would be inadmissible on account of the sickening proper- 
ties of the sugar, or where a tincture would be interdicted by 
reason of the stimulating qualities of alcohol. 

The preparation has been exhibited to a number of physicians 
of respectability, and has, in every instance, met their unquali- 
fied approval. 

Wheeling, West Virginia, Feh. 14th, 1870. 

By J. Carl Herrmann. 
The author extracted 20 oz. finely powdered ergot with ether 
and obtained 6 oz. of a brown-yellow thickish non-drying oil, of 
an aromatic odor and acrid taste, at 18° C. of 0'92496 spec, 
grav., which at a lower temperature separated floccules of a 
solid fat. 

4 oz. of the oil were saponified with caustic soda ; during the 
boiling, traces of ammonia and trimethylamina were observed in 
the vapor. The crude soap had a brownish-yellow color, which 
remained in the mother liquor on salting out the soap ; this 
gradually became sticky in the air. The fatty acids were sepa- 
rated by sulphuric acid and repeatedly boiled with water ; the 
first portions of which assumed a golden-yellow color and sepa- 
rated a brown powder, which was similar in color to powdered 
ergot, retained a little fat, had an acrid bitterish taste, the odor of 
the oil, was insoluble in w^ater and dilute acids, readily soluble 
in alcohol, ether and alkalies, and may be regarded as coloring 

The aqueous liquid was distilled, and small quantities of 
butyric and acetic acid were found in the distillate, while nearly 
half an oz. of glycerin was obtained by concentrating the residue 
left in the retort and treating it with strong alcohol. 

The fatty acids were filtered in a water bath funnel, combined 
with carbonate of soda, and the soda soap in alcoholic solution 
precipitated by acetate of lead. The resulting plaster was 
washed with water and exhausted by ether. The undissolved 
powder contained 1-45 water, 5940 oxide of lead and 39-61 
fatty acid (mean). On evaporating the ether the lead soap was 



left of the consistence of a soft extract, and yielded 1*72 water, 
19-37 oxide of lead and 78.64 fatty acid (mean). 

To determine the nature of the fatty acids, a portion was 
pressed between bibulous paper and repeatedly crystallized from 
hot alcohol ; the dry crystals fused at 62° C, and congealed 
between 57 and 58*^ C. ; they consisted of pure hydrate of pal- 
mitic acid. Ultimate analysis proved the correctness of this 

The extract, like lead soap, was decomposed by muriatic acid, 
and the fatty acid taken up by ether ; it proved to be oleic acid. 

The proportion of lead oxide to tho acids is 5:4, and the fatty 
acids are 1 palmitic to 3 oleic acid ; the composition of the plas- 
ter is, therefore, C,Ji^, ( 2 PbO) O3 + 3 C36H33 (PbO) O3. By 
the action of ether this was decomposed so as to yield a basic 
palmitate and an acid oleinate. 

The coloring principle contained in the oil was obtained by 
treating it with ammoniacal alcohol, and evaporating the alcohol. 
It corresponds, the solubility in ether excepted, with Wiggers' 
ergotin, and to it the oil owes its color, aromatic odor and acrid 

The author also disproved the assertion of Manassew^itz, that 
the oil of ergot was not saponifiable by caustic potassa. 

Since Manassewitz did not succeed in isolating Wenzell's 
ecbolina, the author operated upon 30 oz. powdered ergot by 
nearly the process described by Wenzell (in Amer. Journ. Ph., 
May, 1864) and isolated the alkaloid, which possessed the ap- 
pearance and reactions indicated by Wenzell. Herrmann also 
digested the precipitate by bichloride of mercury in Wenzell's 
process, with carbonate of lead, exsiccated the mixture and ex- 
hausted with 90 pr. ct. alcohol, which dissolved ecbolina, to- 
gether with a trace of chloride of lead. The author promises 
further researches on ecbolina, also on Wenzell's ergotina and 
ergotic acid. 

1000 grs. powdered ergot contained 50 grs. water, and yielded 
22-01562 ashes, consisting of chloride of sodium, silica (14*67 
pr. ct.,) and potassa (30 pr. ct.,) soda, lime, magnesia (4*88 pr. 
ct.,) alumina, iron, manganese combined with phosphoric acid 
(45-12 pr. ct,)-^ Witmeins ViertelJ. Schr.^ 1869, 481-497. 




By Frederick C. Mussgiller, of Brooklyn, 

The officinal collodion is liable to at least two practical objec- 
tions. The first is that it contains too little gun-cotton. And 
the second is that for surgical purposes, whether used of the 
present strength or stronger, the film contracts strongly, and is 
very liable to crack and present sharp edges, which irritate the 
parts to which it is applied, and favor the separation of the film 
at an earlier period than that at which it separates by reason of 
the cutaneous transpiration beneath it. The cantharidal col- 
lodion is also liable to the same objections, besides not contain- 
ing cantharides enough to secure the effect for which it is used. 
The addition of more gun-cotton, of course, remedies the first 
objection ; and the addition of a small proportion of castor oil 
or glycerin, or other non drying substances, as is well known, 
render the film flexible and tough ; but how much of either is 
proper or necessary, and how they are to be used, has not been 
well or accurately determined. In view of the approaching re- 
vision of the Pharmacopoeia, a series of experiments upon the 
points here raised were undertaken, and the writer oiFers the 
following formula to the Association as a voluntary contribution : 

Collodion is applied to two distinol uses in surgery. In one, 
its contractile force is rendered available in the compression of 
small tumors, etc. ; in the other, it is used as a protecting coat 
or covering to prevent mechanical irritation and access of the 
air. The first use of course requires that the film should con- 
tract as much as possible, whilst in the second, and by far the 
most general use, the contraction is objectionable. The recent 
British Pharmacopoeia meets this difficulty by providing two 
kinds, one called simply " Collodium," the other " Collodium 
Flexile,'' the latter containing Canada balsam and castor oil. 
The Paris Codex has only one kind, and uses castor oil alone. 
Glycerin, where properly used, is considered by some writers 
better than either, but it cannot be used as quoted in the U. S. 
Dispensatory, from MM. Cap and Garot. It is suggested that 
the U. S. Pharmacopoeia supply two kinds, the flexible to be 
called simply collodium, but the old kind, which is comparatively 




little needed, to be called coUodium contrahens. The first may 
be prepared as follows : 

Take of pyroxylin or gun-cotton, eighty-six grains. 

Castor oil, eighty-six grains (or glycerin, sixty grains). 

Stronger ether, three and a half fluidounces, or two troyounces 
and two hundred and six grains. 

Stronger alcohol, one fluidounce, or three hundred and seventy- 
six grains. 

Dissolve the castor oil (or the glycerin) in the stronger alcohol, 
add the ether to the solution, and dissolve the gun-cotton in the 
mixture by shaking. Should it contain visible floating particles, 
set it aside for a few days, and decant the collodion from the 
sediment. Collodion is a nearly colorless opalescent liquid, of 
a syrupy consistence, very liable to loss by evaporation, and 
dangerously inflammable. A small portion, say twenty or thirty 
grains, weighed in a counterpoised corked vial, and then exposed 
to spontaneous evaporation by removing the cork and laying the ' 
vial on its side till dry, loses ninety-one per cent, of its weight 
in four hours. 

In comparing the formulas of some of the modern Pharma- 
copoeias, no two were found alike, and the following are the 
percentages by weight of pyroxylin : 

The U. S. Pharmacopoeia gives 3-50 per cent. 
British " " 2-60 " 

" French " " 7'00 " 

" Prussian " " 3- " 

And the formula above given 5* " 
of pyroxylin. Specimens of the present officinal U. S. Pharma- 
copoeia Collodion, of the British " Collodium," and " Collodium 
Flexile," of the French, of the Prussian, and of the formula here 
proposed, are presented herewith, as well as specimens showing 
the eff'ect of larger proportions of glycerin. All have been tried 
by the writer upon himself, and that which appears to yield the 
most durable and flexible film in summer w^eather is the collodion 
containing five per cent, each of gun-cotton and castor oil. It 
is observed that the smaller proportion of gun-cotton renders the 
film more contractile, and therefore for this variety the small 
proportion of the British Pharmacopoeia is recommended. In 



the writer's practice the cantharidal collodion has for some years 
past been increased, in the proportion of cantharides used, by 
ten per cent., but it is doubted whether this be a sufficient in- 
crease. It should always be made flexible or non-contractile, 
and therefore requires more gun-cotton. Specimens of both 
proportions are presented herewith. 

The addition of a proportion of phenols, or carbolic acid, to 
the flexible collodion proposed, will often be found very useful 
and important. From one to ten per cent, of the coal tar crea- 
sote, or impure carbolic acid, may be conveniently added, and 
this mixture yields a film well calculated to replace many of the 
more complex and clumsy " carbolic acid plasters " in use. 


List of Samples of Collodion. 

\ Number. 

Percentage of Gun- 

1 Percentage of Gly- 
1 cerin. 

1 Percentage of Castor 
1 Oil. 

Percentage of Canada 

Percentage of 
, Cantharides. 

Percentage of impure 
1 Carb. Acid. 




IStrictly officinal. 



10 p. c. increase. 








Slightly cloudy. 








Slightly milky. 











Prussian Pharmacopoeia. 



British Pharmacopoeia. 





British Flexile. 




Paris Codex. 




Best flexible film. 







Milky and dense. 




Slightly milky. 







]/2 grain to a minim. 

Strictly officinal. 



G-10 grain to a minim. 

10 p. c. Canth. more. 










It is suggested that all these specimens be referred to the 
Committee on Specimens for report. 
Brooklyn, Sept. 2d, 1869. 

— Proc. Amer. Pharm. Assoc., 1869. 


RHEI, U.S. P. 

By James T. King. 

The yellow deposit in a storage bottle of tincture of rhubarb, 
U.S. P., was collected on a filter, washed, and dried until it 
ceased to lose weight. 

Ten grains of this was treated with liquor potassse until no 
more would dissolve ; it was then filtered, washed and dried. 

The portion insoluble in potassa consisted principally of ex- 

The filtrate was supersaturated with hydrochloric acid and 
filtered ; the precipitate, well washed and dried, weighed 8 grs. 
This was treated with chloroform, and the solution allowed to 
evaporate spontaneously ; when well dried, was weighed, giving 
5*4 grs. of nearly pure chrysophanic acid. The 2*6 grs. insolu- 
ble in chloroform were destitute of any taste of rhubarb, soluble 
in alcohol ; on platinum foil with heat it fused, then ignited, 
giving off" a yellow flame, leaving no ash or residue. It is pro- 
bably resin. Finding in the deposit so large a per cent, of 
chrysophanic acid, which is supposed to be one of the more act- 
ive principles of rhubarb, the following experiment was made to 
determine what portion of the soluble matter of rhubarb would 
be precipitated in a given time. 

One pint of the tincture of rhubarb was made according to the 
U. S. P. The materials weighed 840 grs. When the tincture 
was finished, the drug appeared to be exhausted of all matter 
soluble in the menstruum. The undissolved portion was dried 
on a water-bath, and weighed 443 grs., showing a loss of 397 
grs. By previous examination the rhubarb was found to lose 10 
per cent, of moisture ; this would leave 313 grs. of matter in 

The tincture was placed on a shelf in the store room exposed 
to the difi'used light, and occasionally opened. At the expira- 
tion of eight months it was filtered, the precipitate washed and 
dried. It weighed only 3*1 grs., — about one per cent. This 
was treated with potassa and hydrochloric acid in the same man- 
ner as the other precipitate or deposit, and gave 1*2 grs. chryso- 


phanic acid. The small amount of precipitate shows that the 
tincture would not deteriorate within a reasonable time for dis- 
pensing the same. 

Before ascertaining that the deposit bore so small a propor- 
tion to the matter held in solution, I had prepared four samples 
of tinctures, using for No. 1 the officinal formula ; No. 2, the 
rhubarb in moderately coarse powder, 2 parts alcohol and 1 part 
water ; No. 3, rhubarb in fine powder and stronger alcohol ; 
No. 4, rhubarb in moderately coarse powder, 2 parts alcohol, 1 
part water, and 1 part glycerine. 

The materials in each percolator appeared to be exhausted, 
and were nearly tasteless ; the tinctures 2 and 4 resembling the 
officinal preparations in appearance, No. 4 being sweet, and 
having the taste of rhubarb somewhat masked. No. 3, or alco- 
holic tincture, was of a light wine color. 

These four tinctures w^ere placed on a shelf in the saleroom, 
subject to the same light and treatment as in the first experi- 
ment. Within a few days a deposit commenced forming in each, 
— much the least in No. 3, — and at the expiration of eight 
months a yellow deposit covered more or less thickly the bottom 
of each bottle. 

Each tincture was filtered through a tared filter, precipitates 
washed with distilled water, dried until they ceased to lose 
weight, and weighed. 

Deposit in No. 1, light yellow color, 4*5 grs. to pint. 
" " 2, yellowish-brown color,2-4 " 

" " 3, reddish " 2-0 " 

" " 4, yellow " 4-4 " 

These deposits were examined only qualitatively. Nos. 1 and 
4 gave indications of considerable chrysophanic acid, No. 2 much 
less, and No. 3 but a trace. 

It is evident that a tincture made with the stronger alcohol 
will retain all the active principles in solution, or, if so much 
alcohol would be objectionable, a tincture made with two parts 
alcohol and one part water would be nearly as permanent. 
Middletown, N. Y., Sept., 1869. 

— Proe. Amer. Pharm. Assoc. ^ 1869. 




by the process proposed by mr. samuel campbell, of phila. 
By Alfred B. Taylor. 

Many of you have no doubt read an article upon the prepa- 
ration of fluid extracts, published in the September number of 
.the American Journal of Pharmacy^ on page 385. 

From the importance of the principles involved, and the 
bearing they are likely to have upon our National Pharma- 
copoeia, I have thought that some remarks upon the subject 
might be profitable as well as interesting. 

I herewith submit to your inspection samples of all the 
fluid extracts officinal in the U. S. Pharmacopoeia, with the ex- 
ception of two or three, and of several others that are not offici- 
nal, prepared by Mr. Campbell, in accordance with his sugges- 
tions. I have here also the residues from which these extracts 
have been prepared. Examination of these specimens will show 
not only the quality of the various extracts, but also the com- 
pleteness with which the different drugs have been exhausted. 

The importance of long maceration as a requirement for 
thorough and concentrated exhaustion of a drug by percolation, 
is so marked and decided, and the results obtained so wonderful, 
that it is certainly somewhat remarkable that they have not 
hitherto been noticed. The theoretical idea that long macera- 
tion would be beneficial, may have suggested itself to others as 
it did to myself a long time since, but its immense, unexpected 
practical importance has not been appreciated until these ex- 
periments of Mr. Campbell. 

In order to test the subject more thoroughly, and to satisfy 
myself fully as to the importance and efficiency of maceration, 
the following experiments were instituted. 

Three separate portions of yellow cinchona of four troy 
ounces each, in moderately fine powder, were carefully displaced 
with diluted alcohol ; one portion having been allowed to mace- 
rate half an hour (according to the directions of the U. S. 
Pharmacopoeia in making fluid extract of cinchona ;) another 
portion having been allowed to macerate for 48 hours ; while the 



third portion was allowed to macerate for four days ; the condi- 
tions of all being made as nearly alike as possible, in regard to 
temperature, packing, pouring on the menstruum, &c. The dis- 
placed tincture was carefully collected in portions of one fluid- 
ounce each ; each ounce was then evaporated separately, and 
the weight of solid extract furnished by each ounce carefully 
noted. The following results were obtained : 

Percolate No. 1. 

The 1st oz. yielded of solid extract, 



" 2d " " " ^' " 


u g(j a u a u a 



a 4th " " " 


The first pint after this yielded of solid extract, 




" 2d and 3d pints " " " 


And 3 pints additional " " 




T^P'ynnl nfp ATT) 

JL Ol t/ft/ttl/C' Xi C ^« 

The 1st oz. yielded of solid extract. 



a 2d 



u g(j a u u u u 



a ^^Y^ u a u a u 


Pint after this yielded of solid extract, 




Percolate JVo. S. 

The 1st oz. yielded of solid extract. 



n 2d ^' 



u u a a u n 



u ^^Yi " " 



And 8 oz. after this, to exhaust, yielded 




Upon examination and comparison of these results, it is found 
that the total yield of extract is almost identical in the three 
experiments. Four ounces of bark having yielded in one case 
499 grains, in another 500, and in the third 511 grains of solid 
extract, being about 26 per cent. 


The first ounce of percolate, after half an hour's 

maceration, yielded of extract, 94 grs. 

The first ounce, after 2 days maceration, yielded 185 " 

u u u a 4 a i(. u 200 " 
The first 4 oz. of percolate, after one day's mace- 
ration, yielded of extract, 279 grs. 
The first four oz., after 2 days maceration, yielded 385 

a u u u u 4 a u it a 

Or upon comparing the first and third experiments, the first 
three ounces of percolate, after long maceration, yielded as much 
solid extract as three ounces and two pints additional after a 
short maceration. It will also be observed that, after four ounces 
of percolate had been obtained, eight ounces of menstruum ex- 
hausted the drug that had been macerated four days, more 
thoroughly than six pints, where it had been macerated for half 
an hour. 

If, upon further investigation, it should be found that the ex- 
haustion of some particular articles is not complete, the passage 
of a small additional amount of menstruum, and the reduction 
of the product by spontaneous evaporation to the required mea- 
sure, would no doubt successfully accomplish the desired end. 

The longest time allowed for maceration in any of the experi- 
ments made by Mr. Campbell, or myself, was four days. It is 
possible that in some cases even a longer maceration might be 
found desirable, but since the results of all the experiments 
tried were satisfactory, no further experiment as to time was 

From the results of the preceding experiments, it might be 
thought that the use of glycerin is superfluous, since diluted 
alcohol appears to be sufficient to exhaust the drug ; yet 1 
believe that in this and in many other cases, it is a valuable 
part of the menstruum ; not only from its solvent, but also 
from its preservative power ; but whether the proportion adopted 
is the best one, can be determined only by experiment. It is not 
probable that the same proportions would be desirable for all 

In regard to fineness of powder for making fluid extracts, I 
believe that for all of the fluid extracts at present officinal in 


the Pharmacopoeia, a powder moderately fine, or one that would 
pass through a sieve No. 50, would be preferable to the one 
adopted bj Mr. Campbell, which is moderately coarse, or one 
that would pass through a sieve No. 40. Almost any drug can 
be reduced to this degree of fineness, without involving much 
more labor or time than is required to reduce it to a moderately 
coarse powder. Of the 23 fluid extracts now ofiicinal, in which 
fineness of powder is indicated, eleven are directed to be made 
from moderately fine powder (No. 50,) and twelve from fine 
powder (No. 60) ; these two grades being the only ones indi- 

When powders finer than No. 50 are directed they will 
rarely be prepared by the apothecary, but will be purchased 
from the wholesale druggist, or the drug grinder, and will con- 
sequently be much more liable to be inert, impure or adulterated 
than when powdered under the supervision of one who wishes to 
prepare his own extracts. 

Two of the fluid extracts of the Pharmacopoeia, viz., those of 
hemlock and ergot, have a small quantity of acetic acid added 
to the menstruum ; and this is a very useful addition to those 
preparations when made according to the formula of the present 
Pharmacopoeia. The main object of this addition is to give 
stability to the alkaloids during the process of concentrating 
these extracts by heat ; it is also incidentally useful in promoting 
the solubility of the alkaloids, and in preserving the preparations 
when finished. These objects are all accomplished by the pro- 
cess of Mr. Campbell, without the addition of the acid. No heat 
being used in the process, all danger of destruction from this 
cause is avoided. The menstruum being sufficient to completely 
exhaust the drug, no addition is required, while the glycerin is 
perhaps a better preservative of the finished preparation than 
acetic acid. 

As Mr. Campbell has well said, a fluid extract should repre- 
sent the drug from which it is prepared, giving the constituents, 
as nearly as possible, as they exist in the crude drug ; and 
although acidulated preparations of cinchona, opium, conium, 
&c., may be desirable, it is at least questionable whether acetic 
or any other acid, whereby the natural composition is changed, 


is a proper addition in the preparation of simple fluid extracts 
of these substances. 

Mr. Campbell, after moistening the drug upon which he is 
operating, packs it in a percolator and allows it to macerate 
therein for four days, after which he proceeds to displace the 
tincture. By this process the portion in the bottom of the in- 
strument is subjected to a more thorough action of the men- 
struum than that near the top, and while the lower portion would 
be entirely exhausted, it might perhaps be doubted whether the 
upper portion was eqlially so, although long maceration seems 
entirely to loosen the soluble from the insoluble portion, while 
percolation merely washes out the soluble part so separated. 
I would suggest that the maceration should not be made in the 
percolator, but in a separate vessel, and that once or oftener 
during the maceration it would be advisable to thoroughly stir 
the mixture, since the upper part would naturally become dryer 
than the lower. By this means the maceration would be made 
more uniform throughout the mass, while at the same time there 
would be less danger of the menstruum running in particular 
grooves or channels. In the case of resinous or gummy sub- 
stances, previous to percolation, I would recommend the addi- 
tion of sand, washed sawdust, the residue of a previous opera- 
tion, or some other inert substance, whereby a freer passage 
may be given to the menstruum, care being taken to have the 
mixture uniform, and the packing in the percolator being care- 
fully attended to. 

Mr. Campbell recommends the use of glass funnels or perco- 
lators in all cases, and it is probable that there are very few in- 
stances in which they will not answer a good purpose. From 
the experience I have had, however, in the use of percolators of 
various shapes, I believe that the best form of percolator is the 
section of a cone having about the following proportions : its- 
length should be twice that of its largest diameter, and four 
times that of its smallest diameter. If made of glass, the 
smaller end should terminate in a rounded funnel with a short 
neck ; if made of tinned iron, an ordinary funnel makes a very 
good termination. 

In view of the great simplicity of this process, and the ease 



with which fluid extracts can be thereby made, I strongly re- 
commend it to the consideration of the Committee of Revision 
and Publication of the U. S. Pharmacopoeia, believing that the 
best preparations possible can be thus obtained, and with the 
greatest economy of labor or expense. — Proc. Amer. Pharm. 
Assoc., 1869. 

By Joseph Hirsh. 

The bottle labelled glyconine excited some interest in the 
exhibition-room, at least as far as its name is concerned, and 
the frequently repeated question of what it was or meant may 
be my apology for mentioning it to this learned body. Under 
the name of golcoine, our literature mentioned, some two or three 
years ago, an ointment consisting of four parts of yolk of egg 
and five parts of glycerin, recommended especially as an appli- 
cation to sore nipples, where it not only exerted a decidedly 
healing influence, but did also not interfere with the suckling of 
the child, from the fact that it is neither poisonous nor disagree- 
able to the taste, while its great pliability and elasticity render 
it above all ointments applicable to this especial purpose. 

Its recommendation by the pharmaceutical and medical press 
seems to have made but a faint impression upon the public, most 
interested in this matter, if I am to judge by the rapidity with 
which even its name was forgotten. Having sent a sample, 
labeled golcoine, to the last Exhibition of the American Institute 
of N. York, which I was prevented from attending personally, 
I had the mortification to learn, upon a later visit in N. York, 
that a prominent chemist of that city, who also exhibited chemi- 
cals at the present fair of this Association, had the bottle men- 
tioned very carefully, but very promptly, removed from the ex- 
hibition-room, and thrust into some out of the way place, deem- 
ing this the smallest part of his duty as member of the Commit- 
tee on Chemicals. He had, in his honest zeal, mistaken the 
name golcoine for glonoine, and though greatly irate "at the 
carelessness on my part in exposing the valuable exhibition, to- 
gether with the more valuable visitors and attendants, to the 
danger of glonoine or nitro-glycerin, the tragical end of the 



bottle had also its exhilarating effect upon closer examination. 
Lately the same substance has been mentioned again, under the 
less suspicious name of glyconine, which though to me seems 
hardly expressive of the nature of the substance, since many 
others may, with equal right, claim this name, which expresses 
only their sweetness, unless we turn the philological somersault 
of affixing some value to the innocent conine ending of the word. 
If the writer had not such a respectful horror of authorities and 
established things, he would suggest glycerodine as the true ex- 
pression of the nature of the preparation, since the constituents 
of the egg are all present, even if a great part of its albumen 
has been removed with the whites. Knowing from personal 
observation the usefulness of the article considered for the pur- 
pose recommended above, I would add, that time does neither 
destroy nor modify this healing effect of glyconine, even after 
an exposure of more than a year to atmospheric influence, which 
by good glycerine seems to be kept perfectly at bay, while with- 
out it the yolk, like all protein substances, is rapidly decom- 
posed. This last fact, above all others, perhaps excluded the 
use of yolk in pharmacy, although it has been exceptionally em- 
ployed in some disorders of the scalp, either in the shape of the 
entire yolk, or in that of the oil extracted from the same, as 
also in the shape of soap, which in Europe is manufactured to 
some extent. 

This property of stability of this glycerole will recommend its 
general use as soon as it is more known. 

Considering the constitution of the yolk, it occurred to me 
that this glyconine would form a very efficient dietary article, 
and would fill a vacancy which still exists, in spite of the differ- 
ent preparations of bran offered for sale in the drug market. 
They contain a large amount of nourishing proteine, but upon it 
alone their merit rests. 

If we examine, on the other hand, the yolk of the egg, we 
find the yolk corpuscles and fat globules, the last named of 
which may be distinguished under the microscope by their less 
intense yellow color. These fat globules are very rich in phos- 
phorised matters, which may be separated by extraction of the 
yolk with ether, which, upon evaporation and incineration of the 



residue, leaves behind the superphosphates of the alkalies and 
of lime. The fat consists of oleine, margarine, mixed, according 
to Goblej, with a large amount of glycero-phosphoric acid, as 
also with cerebrin, also knowp as cerebric or oleo- phosphoric 
acid. This last named acid contains nitrogen and phosphorus, 
and is also found as a constituent of the brain. The presence 
of cholesterine, the fat of the bile, has also been determined in 
the yolk, which contains of it on an average 0*438 per cent. 

Of the two pigments of the yolk, the yellow and the red, 
which both are soluble in alcohol, the red one contains iron. 
Besides this metal other minerals are contained in the yolk, as 
hydrochlorate of ammonia, potassic compounds, which greatly 
predominate over the chlorides and phosphates, found in the 
ashes only monobasic. The ashes contain as much as 70 per 
cent, of phosphoric acid, 1*45 per cent, of peroxide of iron, 
and about 0*55 per cent, of silica. Altogether we find here the 
constituents of the blood ready formed in the same proportion 
as they are contained in that fluid, besides some constituents of 
the brain and bile, which accounts for the easy digestibility of 
the yolk, its assimilation not taxing the digestive organs in as 
high a degree as a dietary article of a more remote constitutional 
resemblance. To complete this sketch of similarity we find the 
vitelline, a compound of caseine and albumen, easily soluble in 
even dilute solutions of the neutral salts, the presence of which 
in the yolk I mentioned, and easily convertible into peptones. 
As much as 17 per cent, of vitelline are present in the yolk. For 
practical use as a dietary preparation, I would suggest the addi- 
tion of sugar to the glyconine, to render it dry and solid, while 
the addition of syrup would produce a pleasant tasting liquid 
preparation, which besides in its natural state, might be used as 
a vehicle for various drugs, as the tonics, &c. — Proc. Amer. 
Pharm. Assoc. , 1869. 

By M. Contet. 

As a proof of the greatly improved mode of manufacture of 
this substance and its very extensive use, the author begins by 
stating that, in 1840, the kilo, of rectified sulphide of carbon 


cost 50 francs (£2) ; in 1848, M. Deiss manufactured and sold 
it at 8 francs per kilo., and now it may be had wholesale at 50 
centimes the same quantity. The apparatus now in use consists 
of vertical retorts made of the same kind of clay as is in use 
for glass-pots ; these retorts are 1*8 metre high by 0*50 internal 
diameter, they are lined internally with a glaze composed of 130 
parts of flint glass, 20 parts of carbonate of soda, and 12 parts 
of boracic acid fused together, and next pulverised and painted 
on the inside of the retorts with gum water (at the first heating 
of the retorts this mixture yields a glaze which entirely closes 
the pores of the material, thus preventing escape of vapors and 
gases) ; four of these retorts are set in one oven made of brick- 
work, and are heated by a properly constructed furnace ; the 
retorts are provided with the necessary tubes for the abduction 
of the vapors of the sulphide of carbon, and the introduction of the 
charges of sulphur and charcoal ; the operation once commenced 
is continuous, since the retorts last for at least six months; the 
consumption of sulphur per retort amounts to 125 kilos, in 24 
hours, introduced in charges of 155 grms. each, every three 
minutes time ; the vapors of the sulphide of carbon are collected 
and condensed in vessels made of zinc or sheet-iron, and shaped 
like flattened down casks, and entirely covered over with cold 
water constantly refreshed, while the contrivance is so arranged 
as to keep the sulphide under water also (its specific gravity is 
1*265, and its boiling point 45°). The most suitable tempera- 
ture for this manufacture is bright red heat ; the raw liquid ob- 
tained has to be re-distilled, and this operation is conducted in 
large iron vessels, which contain some 5000 kilos, at the same 
time and communicate with six worm condensers ; steam is used 
for heating by means of a serpentine-coiled set of pipes, and the 
liquid is heated to 48° ; near the end of the distillation the tem- 
perature is raised to 100°, in order to drive ofi" a raw product 
containing very much sulphur dissolved ; in the distillatory ap- 
paratus some sulphur remains ; which is removed and again ap- 
plied ; it appears that this industry has become very extended 
and is carried on with great success in France. — Ohem. News, 
Jan. 7, 1870. 



By M. Cloes. 

The author states that, when sulphide of carbon is left for 
twenty-four hours in contact with half per cent, of its weight of 
finely-powdered corrosive sublimate, care being taken to shake 
or stir up this mixture, the mercurial compound combines with 
the substances which are the cause of the foetid odor of this sub- 
stance, and an insoluble compound is deposited. The liquid is 
carefully decanted, and, after 0*02 of its weight of a pure ino- 
dorous fat has been added (no reason is given for this addition), 
the sulphide is re-distilled with care by the heat of a water-bath. 
The sulphide thus obtained exhibits an ethereal odor, and is emi- 
nently suitable for the extraction of oils, fats, &c., from various 
substances, since, on evaporation of the purified sulphide, these 
matters are obtained in as fresh and pure a state as if the oils 
had been obtained by pressure. — Ohem. News^ Jan. 14, 1870. 

By J. Baker Edwards, Ph.D., F.C.S. 

The second annual reports of the two Canadian societies for 
the promotion of pharmaceutical science having just appeared 
almost simultaneously, a fitting opportunity is afforded of review- 
ing the general position of pharmacy in British America, and 
the efforts now being made to obtain restrictive legislation. 

The first of these societies has assumed the somewhat am- 
bitious title of the " Canadian Pharmaceutical Society." As, 
however, ojie of its leading objects was legislation, and this legis- 
lation could only extend to the upper province, it is obvious that 
the "Pharmaceutical Society of Ontario" would have been a 
more legitimate and correct title, I must, moreover, be allowed 
to express the feeling that the time-honored titles " Pharmaceu- 
tical Society " and "Pharmaceutical Journal" have been fairly 
earned by our "Alma Mater," and that provincial societies 
would do well to show their originality by adopting some other 
designation for their associations. This remark also applies to 
the Bill which has been brought before the Ontario Legislature, 



and obtained a first reading. It is so closely a copy of the 
Pharmacy Act, that some of its provisions may not prove best 
adapted to the circumstances of thinly populated country dis- 
tricts. The Society proposes to undertake the work of educa- 
tion, and to fit up a laboratory, library, and museum ; and its 
first year's class in chemistry has been very successful, about 
forty students having been enrolled, several of whom passed 
creditable examinations at the close of the session. It has also 
encouraged its country members by offering three prizes " for 
collections of indigenous medical substances of vegetable origin," 
competitors to be ^'"members of the Pharmaceutical Society^'' 
{sic!). It has produced a useful monthly periodical, called the 
" Canadian Pharmaceutical Journal," which is, however, largely 
indebted to extracted matter. This has obtained a fair circula- 

The report does not give the number of members, but states 
that 129 were added during the year ; from which we may assume 
the number to be from 300 to 350. These are principally coun- 
try members, residing in the numerous small towns of Ontario. 
The prospects of this Society are very encouraging, and it will, 
no doubt, accomplish much good. 

The constitution, aims, and resources of the Montreal Chem- 
ists' Association are modified by its circumstances ; its members 
are almost entirely confined to this city, and it has a large num- 
ber of Associate members. It has also undertaken the work of 
education, and has completed one session, during which a course 
of lectures on Materia Medica was delivered by Dr. Kollmyer, 
and on Chemistry by myself. About fifty practical students 
attended, with very satisfactory results. 

The second year's courses are now about to commence, with 
an entry of about forty students. As these are all city employes^ 
the number indicates a very general support. Our monthly 
meetings are also well attended, and practical subjects are brought 
forward and discussed. 

In the matter of legislation we have prepared a Bill of a very 
simple character, which we expect to pass shortly. It constitutes 
a separate body, "The Quebec College of Pharmacy," for the 
purposes of registration, examination, and licensing graduates in 



pharmacy, and prohibits the sale to the public of certain poisons 
of a dangerous character, except bj persons duly qualified and 
registered under the Act. 

There is very little pure pharmacy among the French Cana- 
dians, the French druggists generally being qualified practi- 
tioners of medicine. The Bill, therefore, chiefly concerns the 
English-speaking population, and will encourage the establish- 
ment of pharmacies in market towns where few now exist. In 
the province of Quebec, the power of examination in pharmacy 
is now vested in the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Lower 
Canada, though few avail themselves of the privilege. The 
movement is looked upon favorably by leading members of the 
medical profession, and we trust the result will be for the ad- 
vancement of pharmaceutical education and status in the 

Of our friends in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, we hear 
and see very little. The long distances and sparse populations 
render our intercourse with them very limited, even now that 
Confederation is an accomplished fact. It is to be regretted 
that the Pharmaceutists of the Dominion cannot be enrolled into 
one body ; but so long as all matters of education are in the 
hands of a divided provincial Legislature, this cannot be. The 
same difficulty is experienced in the States, and efforts are now 
being made there to assimilate the various State laws in reference 
to pharmacy. Every voluntary movement will assist towards 
general legislation, and we feel that the example of Great Britain 
will be most influential in placing pharmacy in its right position 
among all civilized communities. — Pharm, Journ., Dec?., 1869. 

Papaverine, one of the alkaloids of opium, which was stated 
by M. C. Bernard to possess no narcotic property, has been 
studied physiologically by MM, Liederdorf and Bresslauer. 
Their experiments were made on the insane. They find that 
papaverine exercises upon man a decided soporific action, and, 
at the same time, diminishes muscular activity. It reduces the 
frequency of the pulse in all cases, and its calming action is not 




preceded by a period of excitement. It never causes nausea, 
vertigo, headache, or constipation, but, on the contrary, tends to 
reduce these symptoms. It generally acts slowly, about four to 
seven hours after administration. It may be given subcutane- 
ously in the form of hydrochlorate. Dr. Stark fully confirms 
these observations ; he administers it in doses of 1 to 2 grains 
by h^^podermic injection, and considers it to be constant and 
simple in its action. — C. H. Wood, F.O.S., in Pharm. Jour., 
London, Dec, 1869. 

By Daniel Hanbury, F.R.S.* 

Whatever was the true nature of the substance provided for 
the sustenance of the ancient Israelites and termed by them 
Manna, that name has in subsequent ages been used to designate 
certain saccharine exudations produced in hot countries upon the 
stems, branches or leaves of trees, shrub, or herbaceous plants, 
belonging to various families. Thus in the peninsula of Sinai, 
a sweet substance called manna is exuded by a species of tama- 
risk ; in Persia, a manna is produced by a small, thorny, legumi- 
nous plant, known to botanists as Alhagi Maurorum ; and in 
Kurdistan, an evergreen-oak affords an analogous product. These 
substances have from a remote period been employed as food or 
medicine, and they are still found, though in small quantities, in 
the bazaars of the East. The Cedar of Lebanon, the Larch, a 
Oistus, and certain Australian species of Eucalyptus likewise 
yield, at certain seasons, saccharine exudations in more or less 
abundance ; and those derived from the cedar and larch have 
occasionally been collected for use. 

The manna of modern times is well known to have a very dif- 
ferent origin, being a product obtained in considerable abundance 
from the stems and branches of a species of ash, cultivated in 
Calabria and Sicily. With this manna, Europe is wholly sup- 
plied, and it likewise finds its way into the markets of the East. 

During some conversation last summer with my friend Dr. 
FlUckiger of Berne, he drew my attention to this curious fact, — 
that in the early history of Sicily, no mention is made of manna 

* From the Author's revised reprint from Pharm. Journ., London. 



as a production of the island. This induced me to look around 
for further information, the result of which has been the collec- 
tion of a few notes on the history of this drug, which seem of 
sufficient interest to be presented to the Pharmaceutical Society. 

In the first place, I must thank Colonel Yule, to whom I wrote, 
thinking that his familiarity with historical research, and actual 
residence at Palermo, might enable him to impart some hints for 
my guidance. But he has been good enough to render me still 
greater service in furnishing extracts from several authors whose 
works I might otherwise have overlooked. 

With regard to manna which has fallen from the atmosphere, 
or, as it is termed, Meteoric 3fanna, the grand example is that 
described in the book of Exodus. Of this it may be safely 
affirmed that, accepting the Mosaic account as the simple narra- 
tive of ^a real event, no phenomenon is known which is at all 
adequate to explain it. ^ 

But there are other examples of meteoric manna which come 
fairly within the range of natural phenomena, and which it would 
be interesting to consider, did space permit. I may observe that 
the notion that manna is not the juice of a plant, but that it is 
of the nature of dew and falls from the sky, is very ancient, and 
still lingers in the East. In the case of the manna-ash, it was 
disproved by the Franciscan monks Angelus Palea and Bartho- 
lomseus ab Urbe Yetere, who relate how they caused some of the 
trees to be covered with sheets, so that nothing could fall upon 
them ; and that notwithstanding this precaution, manna was^ 
produced as before.* But this reasonable conclusion was re- 
garded as scarcely orthodox, and the learned Matthioli was at 
much pains to supply an explanation more, as he thought, in ac- 
cordance with Scripture. 

The special point, however, which I desire to discuss in this 
paper relates to the period at which ash-manna began to be col- 
lected. Manna is mentioned more or less particularly by most 
of the Arabian physicians with whose works we are more or less 
acquainted, but the allusions are all to Oriental manna and not 

*Geoffroy, Tradatus de Mat. Med. II, 587. The whole disquisition of. 
this author De Manna soluttvd, is replete with informationv 




to that of Italy or Sicily. This is manifest from the writings of 
Ebn Beithar,* one of the most eminent and learned men of his 
time, and a great traveller ; and who, being a native of Malaga, 
would probably when speaking of manna have named that of 
Sicily, the more so as that island, having been for nearly 250 
years under Saracenic rule, must have been familiar to the Arabs 
of Spain. Ebn Beithar is moreover in the habit of quoting ex- 
tensively from other authors. He died about A. D. 1248. 

One fact may be held to prove that the Saracens could not 
have been entirely ignorant of the production of manna in Sicily, 
and it is this : — There exists a mountain near Cefalu which is 
called by the Arabic name Gibil-manna, literally Manna-moun- 
tain.^ Other mountains in the island retain the Arabic name of 
gihil: whether the word manna was affixed subsequently to the 
Saracenic occupation, or whether, as is more probable, the whole 
name was bestowed by the Arab population in virtue of the trees 
of the mountain yielding manna, is a point I am unable to de- 
cide. { 

In the 13th century, Sicily was under the dominion of the 
Emperor Frederic II, a sovereign who appears to have been very 
solicitous to develop its resources, as is proved by many docu- 
ments extant, relative to the affairs of the island. Thus in a 
letter dated A. D. 1239, he directs that certain Jews settled at 
Palermo are to farm his date plantations at Favara, and to culti- 
vate them after their own manner. He also writes about the 
cultivation of his vineyards and the introduction of indigo and 
senna, and of divers other plants of Barbary, not then known 
to grow in Sicily. But so far as I can discover, there is no 
allusion to manna. § 

Pegolotti, an Italian who wrote a sort of mercantile handbook 
circa A. D. 1340, has a chapter on Messina and Palermo, but 

• *Ed. Sontheimer, 1840-42, I, 207, II, 533. 

t Amico, Lexicon typographicum Siculum, III (1760), 242. 

X Colonel Yule has remarked that Salmasius in his Exercitationes Pli- 
niance, alludes to 2/x6\/«ov /udvvA as mentioned by the Medici recentiores 
Groeci, but without specifying more particularly who they are. 

§ Historia diplomatica Friderici Secundi, par J. L. A. Huillard-Bre- 
holles, T. iv, 213 ; T. v, 571. 



does not mention manna as a production of Sicily ; yet in 
enumerating the articles sold by the pound at the former city, 
he names manna apparently as a foreign production, since he 
couples it with cloves, cubebs, rhubarb, mace and long pepper. 

Further evidence of a negative sort is afforded by Giovanni di 
Antonio da Uzzano, who in his work called Lihro di GraheUi, 
written eiroa A. D. 1442, mentions the exports of Naples and of 
Calabria as wine, oil, corn, cheese, salted meat, nuts, chestnuts, 
soap, and oranges, but makes no reference to manna.* 

The earliest actual mention of manna as an Italian drug that 
I have found, is in the Compendium Aromatariorum of Saladinus, 
printed at Bologna in 1488. Saladina was physician to one of 
the Princes of Tarentum in Calabria; neither the date of his 
birth nor that of his death is known, but it would appear that he 
was living between A. D. 1442 and 1458 ; for he states that 
during his time, the King of Arragon punished his druggist at 
Naples by a fine of 9000 ducats and degradation from office, be- 
cause the king's physicians having prescribed white coral as an 
ingredient of a cordial electuary, the druggist not possessing it, 
substituted red coral. This incident affords a clue to the age of 
Saladinus, for it was Alphonso V, King of Arragon, who laid 
siege to Naples, captured it in 1442, and died in 1458. 

The work of Saladinus to which I have alluded, is a sort of 
handbook for the aromatarius or druggist, and is remarkable for 
much practical good sense. Besides numerous formulse and de- 
scriptive notices of drugs, it contains a calendar enumerating the 
hejbs, flowers, seeds, roots and gums to be collected in each 
month ; and in terminating the list for May, there occurs the 
following passage : 

" Oollige etia in isto mese mana ta in oriete qm: in Calabria quia tunc 
ros ille preciosius de celo cadit." 


* Pegolotti's work forms the third volume, and Da Uzzano's the fourth, 
of the book published anonymously by Gian Francesco Pagnini under the 
title of Delia Decima e di varie altre Gravezze impaste dot Commune di 
Firenze, etc., Lisb. e Lucca, 1765-6, 4P, III, 99 ; lY, 96-98. Some 
valuable information on Pegolotti and his writings may be found in Col. 
Yule's Cathay and the way thither, Lond. 1866 (Hakluyt Society), Yol. 
II, 279. 



Contemporary with Saladinus lived Giovanni Gioviano Pontano 
(A. D. 1426 — 1503), a celebrated historian, statesman, philoso- 
pher and poet. Among his numerous writings is a work entitled 
Liber 3£eteororum, in which there is a poem headed De Pruind, 
et More, et Maiind ; this effusion notices in very circumstantial 
terms the collection of manna by the peasants on the banks of 
the Crati in Calabria, describing the production of the drug in 
language which may be rendered thus : 

* * * « There in the middle of summer, under a burning sun, while 
heat prevails and the cloven earth gapes — when no breeze is stirring, and 
the humid air is still, it [the manna] gradually exudes, and, condensed as 
a viscid fluid, runs into drops and thickens on the thirsty leaves — and, 
further hardened by successive suns, it acquires the appearance of wax, 
and the taste of honey. Such as the bees obtain by their instinctive art 
and mutual aid, this, nature produces for the medicinal use of mankind." 

I subjoin the passage in a foot-note.* 

In the second half of the fifteenth century flourished Raffaele 
Mafiei, called also Yolaterranus, a learned and voluminous 
writer, who among other works has left one entitled Commentarii 
Urbani, in which we find a sentence in the following words if 

*' Manna nostra setate ccepit in Calabria provenire : licet orientali in- 

* Quinetiam Calabris in saltibus, ac per opacum 
Labitur ingenti Orathis, qua coerulus alveo, 
Quaque etiam Syriis sylvse convallibus horrent 
Felices sylvae, quarum de fronde liquescunt 
Divini roris latices, quos sedula passim 
Turba legit, gratum auxilium languentibus segris. 

Illic estate in media, sub sole furenti * 
Dum regnat calor et terrse fiduntur hiantes 

•Jfr -H- * * * * 

Cum nullse spirant aurse, et silet humidus aer 
Contrahitur paulatira, et lento humore coactus 
In guttas abit, et foliis sitientibus hserens 
Lentescit, rursumque diurno a sole recoctus 
Induit et speciem cerae, mellisque saporem. 
Quodque et apes prsestant arte, ingenitoque favore 
Hoc medicos natura hominum producit in usus. 

Pontani Opera, Yenet. 1513, Lib. Meteor, p. 113. 
•j- Yollaterranus (Eaph.) Comment. TJrhann^ Paris, 1515, foL, lib. 38, f. 

413. I have not been able to consult an earlier edition of his works, pub- 

ished, it is said, at Rome, in 1506. 



The significance of this I take to be, that manna first began 
to be collected in Calabria, within the author's recollection, but 
that it was not considered so good as the Eastern manna. 

It is to be observed that Saladinus, Pontano and Maffei all 
speak of manna as a production of Calabria, and it is evident, I 
think, that for a long time the drug was afibrded by that region, 
and not by Sicily. 

Brasavolus, of Ferrara, describing the drugs found in the 
shops circa A. D. 1537, mentions manna as a production of 

Matthioli (1548) remarks that of manna he has only seen two 
sorts, the Levantine and the Calabrian.f 

Alberti, in his Descrittione di tutta Italia, published at Bologna 
in 1550, mentions manna as found in Calabria. J 

Garcia d'Orta (1563)§ and Christopher Acosta (1574)|| de- 
scribe different kinds of oriental manna, contrasting them with 
that of Calabria. 

The Ricettario Florentino (edition of 1573) states that manna 
is of two kinds, namely, that of Syria, and that produced in the 
kingdom of Naples, especially about Cosenza in Calabria. 

Still more significant is the fact that Fazelli, a well known 
writer on Sicily (1558), in a chapter on the productiveness of 
the island, boasts of its wine, oil, sugar,honey, fruits and saffron, 
but says not one word of manna, or the manna-ash. T[ 

The manna collected in these early times was undoubtedly that 
which the trees produced spontaneously, but it was neither 
abundant nor cheap.** That which exuded from the leaves was 
esteemed the best, and was called maiina difoglia or manna di 
fronda ; it is described as being in the form of solid, translucent, 

* Examen omnium simpUcium, Ludg-. 1537, 8vo, p. 335. 
t Comment, in Lib. I, Diosc. cap. 70. 
t P. 198. 

^ CoUoquios dos Simples, etc., Goa, 1563, 4to, p. 132. 

II Tractado de las Drogas y Medicinas de las Indias Orientales, Burgos, 
1578, 8vo, p. 399. 

1Ii>e Rebus Siculis, Dec. I, lib. i, ch. 4. De Ubertate Silicice. 

**Fiore de Cropani in his Calabria Illustrata, Napoli, 1691, says (p. 
253) that the manna di fronda has been sometimes sold, even in Cala- 
bria, at 50 scudi for 6 ounces. 



white grains, resembling little grains of mastich, and having a 
sweet and agreeable taste. The second sort was that which 
flowed spontaneously from the trunk and branches, and was 
termed manna di corpo ; while the third or commonest kind was 
that picked up from the ground. 

Towards the middle of the sixteenth century, it was found 
that a much more copious supply of manna could be obtained by 
notching the bark of the tree, and this new method of procuring 
the drug began to be adopted.* But the innovation did not pass 
unnoticed, for in the year 1562 Marino Spinelli, he'mg protomedico 
of the kingdom of Naples, set about inquiring as to the article 
sold by the druggists as Manna : and as he doubtless found it 
no longer corresponded with that of former days, he declared, in 
concert with other learned physicians, that it was by no means 
good ; and further to enforce his opinion, he procured the issuing 
of a public edict, prohibiting the druggists, under a severe pen- 
alty, from using any other manna than that of the leaf. This 
law proved very injurious to the Calabrians ; it was felt, also, to 
be both severe and unjust by many of the physicians, one of 
whom, Annibal Briganti, took up the question in a philosophical 
spirit, made many visits to the manna districts, and investigated 
the differences alleged to exist between one sort of exudation and 
another. This resulted in the discovery that manna, whether 
spontaneously yielded by the leaves or stem, or obtained from 
the latter by aid of incisions, is essentially the same substance 
and possesses like virtues. These observations were recorded by 
Briganti in a long discourse written in Latin, for which, I am 
sorry to say, he has had very little credit — for not wholly trust- 
ing his own judgment on a subject so grave and controversial, 
he sent his MS. from Chieti, where he lived, to another learned 
man, Donatus Antonius ab Altomari, of Naples, who so entirely 
approved of it that he immediately published the whole of it in 
his own name If Under the assumed authorship of Altomari, 

^'In Bauhin's edition of the commentaries of Matthioli, published at 
Basle in 1574, the practice of making incisions in the bark of the tree is 
distinctly alluded to, as being followed in Apulia and Calabria " hac 

t " Senza pure un minimo segno di gratitudme" The account of this 




we have then this essay as a quarto pamphlet of 46 pages, printed 
at Venice, in 1562, and entitled Be Mannce differentiis ac viri- 
bus deque eas dignoscendi via ac ratione: and, as if to give the 
work greater weight, it is in the form of an epistle addressed to 
Hieroniraus Albertinus, Neapolitan prime minister of Philip II, 
a monarch whose connection with the English crown and Spanish 
armada has caused his name to be well remembered in our 

The custom of promoting the exudation of manna by wound- 
ing the stem and branches of the trees, must have occasioned a 
great increase in the production of the drug, a proof of which we 
have in the statement of Fiore (1691) that the sole district of 
Campana and Bocchiglioro affords annually 30,000 lb. with great 
profit to the gatherers, and 1100 ducats of excise to the govern- 
ment."^ Of the period when the traffic in manna commenced in 
Sicily, I have no information. Paolo Boccone, of Palermo, 
mentions in his Museo de Fisica e di Esperienzie, which appeared 
in 1697, several localities in Italy whence manna is obtained, 
adding thvit manna forzata (that from incisions being thus called) 
is also produced in Sicily. f 

In conclusion, let me recapitulate the points in the history of 
manna, on which I have endeavored to throw light : 

1. That the manna known in Europe in very early times was 
probably all of Oriental origin. 

2. That manna of the ash [Fraxinus Ornus L.) began to be 
collected in Calabria in the first half of the fifteenth century. 

3. That the practice of making incisions in the tree in order 
to promote the exudation, was not commenced until about the 
middle of the sixteenth century, previous to which period, the 
only manna obtained was that which exuded spontaneously. 

4. That although the existence in Sicily of a mountain called 
by the Arabic name Cfihil-manna, would seem to indicate that 
manna was collected during the period of Mussulman rule in 

shameless piracy is related with much moderation by Briganti himself, in 
his Italian edition of Garcia d'Orta, published at Yenice in 1582 (p. 50). 
Consult also Toppi, Bihlioteca Napolitana, p. 20. 

* Delia Calabrta illustrata, Nap. 1691 — 1743, fol. p. 253. 

t Obs. xiv, XV. 



that island (A. D. 827 to A. D. 1070), evidence has not been 
produced to prove the fact — but that on the contrary, it appears 
that manna was gathered in Calabria long anterior to its coUec- 
tion^in Sicily. — Lond. Pliarm. Journ., Dec, 1869. 

By R. RoTHER. 

In tendering to pharmaceutists the following suggestions for 
the convenient and practical production of this compound, the 
writer experienced some hesitation, cherished by slight misgiv- 
ings as to its propriety in a scientific connection. * * * * 
Stability and facility are the two great distinguishing features 
that characterize this process, and its result. For the former 
we have nothing less than the inevitable and indispensable gly. 
cerin. For the latter we have the following : 
Take of Phosphorus, one ounce. 

Glycerin, 8 fluid ounces. 

Starch, 4 

Flour, 16 " 

Water, 28 fluid " 
Mix the glycerin, starch, and one pint of the water, in a ca- 
pacious, cast-iron, enameled, evaporating dish, and heat the mix- 
ture, stirring constantly with a very flexible spatula until the 
plasma has formed ; remove this from the fire, and stir, occasion- 
ally, until it is only warm, then add 8 fluid-ounces of the water, 
and the flour, and mix, thoroughly, by means of a stone-ware or 
wooden pestle, until a smooth, uniform mass is obtained. Take 
2 ounces of this, add to it the remaining 4 fluid-ounces of water, 
and heat in a smaller evaporating dish, until sufficiently hot ; 
add the phosphorus, in small portions at a time, and when this 
has entirely fused, stir with a flexible spatula, gradually adding 
some of the plasma, with constant stirring, and when of a proper 
consistence, incorpora'e it thoroughly with the remaining plasma. 
The writer now considers that pharmaceutists see the point, and, 
consequently, abstains from giving any further illustrations. 
Chicago, Dec. 21, 1869. 

— The Pharmacist, Jan., 1870. 



By R. Rother. 

In the above familiar title we behold the officinal synonym for 
magnesium citrate. That preparation, therapeutically so much 
esteemed, but pharmaceutically abhorred, which as viewed from 
the officinal stand-point, deservedly shares the aversion enter- 
tained by the pharmaceutical profession, whilst the opprobrium 
cast upon it is justly due to its inconstancy of composition and 
unstable character — results that are entirely attributable to the 
fallacy of the officinal edict. 

Normal magnesium citrate (Mg^'a (CgH^O^) 2), when freshly 
prepared, is exceedingly soluble in water, but in moderately 
concentrated solution it rapidly undergoes a molecular change, 
and unites with seven atoms of water (Mg^'3 (CgH^O^) 2, 7 OH2). 
The insoluble combination thus produced is, consequently, thrown 
out of solution. But, in solutions similar to the officinal, owing 
to its moderate degree of dilution, this transformation is not in- 
stantaneous, but if once begun, rapidly progresses, until a limit 
is determined by the presence of the solvent ; yet, only after 
the greater portion of the magnesium has been rendered insolu- 
ble and inert. The article is then, of course, in an unsaleable con- 
dition, and, not unfrequently, a serious loss to the conscientious 
pharmaceutist, whose integrity led him to misplace his confidence 
by a too strict adherence to the officinal code ; but magnesium cit- 
rate, in this condition, is by no means a loss, since application of 
a gentle heat again restores its solubility. The solution, after 
being rebottled, possesses an indefinite permanence, altogether 
similar to the fresh preparation. 

A moderate excess of acid is, also, of no avail, unless it be 
present in sufficient quantity to form the bimetallic salt (Mg^' 
CgHgOjr), which, however, is not the intent of the pharmacopoeia, 
for, as in case of the officinal quantity, if the magnesium were 
reduced, and all the acid retained, an immoderate excess of this 
then virtually results, which would not fail to be therapeutically 

Knowing that the officinal formula is entirely unsatisfactory, 
it is not surprising to notice a rather strong disposition to dis- 
sent from it, and in the absence of a reliable guide, there is no- 




thing more natural than that operators should follow their own 
inclinations in this respect. Hence, we see those who invaria- 
bly adhere to the pharmacopoeia, where such a possibility exists^ 
prepare but a few bottles of it at a time, from day to day, as 
the demand requires. In this case the preparation is not finished 
until called for, when the final addition of the potassium carbo- 
nate is made. But this resort is very impractical, yet it is the 
only recourse for those who vow allegiance to the pharmacopoeia. 
Others, out of ignorance, substitute magnesium carbonate for 
the oxide in the same quantity, and thus obtain a permanent 
solution of the bimetallic salt, with its excessive quantity of 
acid. Again, others see fit to reduce both acid and oxide, 
usually substituting carbonate for the latter, upon economical 
ground, although preserving the proportion of magnesium by the 
change. A solution about half the strength of the officinal keeps 
much better, in their experience. 

Yet, by far, the greater number do not dispense magnesium 
citrate at all, but, under the pretence, and in bottles labelled 
magnesium citrate, variable solutions of sodium tartrate, or so- 
dium citrate, either alone, a mixture of the two, or separately, 
but contaminated with insignificant admixtures of the corres- 
ponding magnesium salts, are largely thrown into market, and 
consumed with as much relish, and as, apparently, happy effects, 
as though it were the pure citrate. 

Now, since the sodium tartrate and citrate are, therapeutical- 
ly, similar to the corresponding magnesium salts, and in them- 
selves stable preparations, and much cheaper products, there is 
no reason why they should not, officinally, replace, in whole or 
part, the pharmaceutically obnoxious magnesium compound. 
The universal desire is to obtain a permanent preparation that 
is, therapeutically, identical with the magnesium citrate, and 
can either replace, or pharmaceutically modify the latter. 

We know that a solution about half the strength of the offici- 
nal is much more permanent, and that this permanence is ren- 
dered indefinite by a sufficient quantity of sodium citrate; and 
as sodium citrate is, therapeutically, identical with the former, 
and equally taseless, there exists no just reason that can prevent 
an officinal substitution to be made. 



For this purpose 40 grains of magnesium oxide, equal to 91 
grains of the carbonate, are replaced by an equivalent quantity 
of either mono or disodium carbonate, which would be 168 grains 
of the former, or 286 grains of the latter, and substituting 182 
grains (equivalent quantity) of magnesium carbonate for the re- 
maining 80 grains of the oxide. We can construct the following 
formula, which contains the compound Mg^'' Na Cg 0^. * 

Take of 

Citric acid, in coarse powder, 457J grains. 
Magnesium carbonate, 182 
Monosodium carbonate, 168 " 

or Disodium carbonate, crystallized, 286 " 
Monopotassium carbonate, 40 " 

Essence lemon, a few minims. 

Sugar, in coarse powder, one and a half troyounces. 
Water, sufficient. 
Dissolve the citric acid in six or seven fluid-ounces of water ; 
to this add, gradually, the magnesium carbonate, first rubbed 
through a coarse sieve ; when the solution is complete add, very 
gradually, the monosodium carbonate, or if the disodium carbo- 
nate is used, and in tolerably large crystals, the whole of this 
can be added at once, then, after effervescence has ceased, add 
the essence of lemon and the sugar ; agitate until the latter is 
dissolved, filter and add sufficient water to the filtrate to make it 
measure 12 fluid-ounces ; place this in a strong bottle of appro- 
priate size ; finally add the potassium carbonate, and cork 

In this formula magnesium carbonate is used, since it is of 
more uniform composition, much cheaper, and more convenient 
than the oxide. For various reasons crystallized disodium car- 
bonate is preferable to the monosodic. It was also found equal- 
ly convenient to employ sugar and essence lemon directly, rather 
than the syrup of citric acid. The formula when followed to 
the letter yields a very permanent preparation. But to attain 
indefinite permanence, and make surety doubly sure, the magne- 
sium can be reduced one-half, and the sodium doubled. 

Chicago, December 21, 1869. 

— QJiieago PJiarrnacist, Jan., 1870. 




MM. Robiere et Herbelin have been engaged in examining a 
number of samples of bromide of potassium for iodine. The test 
thej employ is to place several fragments of the bromide, moist- 
ened with water, upon a piece of glazed paper, and expose to a 
trace of bromine vapor. If iodine be present, the paper acquires 
a blue tint. The bromine vapor is poured from a little flask 
filled with asbestos, wetted with bromine water. When the 
quantity of iodine is great, the blue tint may be partially or 
completely masked by the brown tint of free iodine. To avoid 
this, the test may be modified as follows. A crystal of the bro- 
mide is pulverized and put in a watch-glass standing on a plate. 
A few drops of bromine are poured on the plate and the whole 
covered with a glass. The bromide is unchanged, if it is pure ; 
or if it takes a slight yellow tint, it loses it very rapidly in the 
air. If it contains a sensible quantity of iodine, it becomes im- 
mediately brown, the iodine being displaced by the vapor of 
bromine. If it contains only minute traces of iodine insufficient 
to give a visible coloration, the salt is transferred to a corked 
tube and agitated with benzol. The liquid immediately assumes 
a rose tint easy to recognize. 

To purify bromide of potassium completely from iodine, the 
the authors recommend to dissolve the salt in a small quantity 
of water, and then add, little by little, bromine water to the 
solution, heated to boiling, until it is present in excess. The 
liquid is then boiled and evaporated to dryness with constant 
stirring. The bromine is thereby perfectly deprived of iodine. 
It is then crystallized. 

It has been since pointed out that, in the foregoing tests for 
detecting traces of iodine, the results may in every case be 
masked by the presence of any excess of free bromine. M. 
Duingt writes that if we introduce a little chloroform (or benzol 
or sulphide of carbon) into a solution of bromide of potassium 
containing yo^oo^^ V^^^ iodide, and then add drop by drop, 
shaking after each addition, some dilute bromine water, we see 
the chloroform at first assume a violet tint, become decolorized 
by the next addition, and ultimately take a yellow color when 



an excess has been employed. At this point, if the chloroformic 
liquid be decanted, and treated drop by drop with diluted 
sulphurous acid, it will reassume its violet color. He recom- 
mends, therefore, that in testing bromide of potassium, after 
agitating a solution of the suspected salt with chloroform and 
some drops of bromine water, if no violet color has been obtained, 
the chloroform should be separated and shaken with dilute sul- 
phurous acid, added drop bj drop, in order to restore the violet 
color of the iodine if it is present. — 0, H. Wood, F.C.S., in 
Pharm. Jour., London, Bee, 1869. 


In a memoir on the use of turpentine as an antidote in phos- 
phorus poisoning, M. J. Personne has expressed the opinion that 
phospohrus kills by absorbing the oxygen from the blood. 
Where the absorption of the poison is rapid, a true asphyxia is 
thus produced, which promptly causes death. According to this 
opinion, the turpentine acts by preventing the phosphorus from 
burning in the blood, in the same manner that it arrests its com- 
bustion at ordinary temperatures in the air. Being thus de- 
prived of the power of removing the oxygen from the blood, the 
poison can be eliminated without causing any fatal derangement 
of the animal economy. 

In order to test the accuracy of this doctrine, M. Personne 
has conducted some experiments with pyrogallic acid, a sub- 
stance very different from phosphorus, but which resembles it 
in its power of absorbing oxygen very energetically, while in 
contact with an alkaline liquid. This acid was administered to 
two dogs ; to one two grammes, and to the other four grammes 
were given in dilute solution. 

All the symptoms of asphyxia were soon exhibited, and the 
animal manifested the same sufferings that result in cases of 
phosphorus poisoning. The animal which received the larger 
dose died at the expiration of fifty hours ; the other ten hours 
later. The post-mortem indications were similar in all respects 
to those observable in cases of death from phosphorus. — Q. H, 
Wood, F.Q.S., in Pharm. Jour., London, Bee, 1869. 




MM. Grimaux and Ruotte have made an investigation into 
the chemical constitution of the oil of sassafras. This oil is 
colorless when first rectified, and becomes yellow by exposure to 
air and light. Its density at zero is 1-0815. It rotates the 
plane of polarization to the right. It is a mixture of a dextro- 
gyre hydrocarbon and an inactive oxygenized principle. It also 
contains a very small proportion of a body which appears to be 
a phenol, and has the power of reducing nitrate of silver at the 
boiling-point. This body is separated from the essence by agi- 
tation with solution of potash. It may be reprecipitated by hy- 
drochloric acid in oily drops, presenting a strong odor of eugenic 
acid, and assuming a bright green color with ferric chloride. 

The hydrocarbon safi"rene contains C10H16. It boils between 
155° and 157° C. ; and possesses a density of 0-8345 at zero. 

Nine-tenths of the essence distil over between 230° and 236°; 
this portion is the oxygenated principle safrol, CioKio02- This 
body has not a rigorously constant boiling-point, because it re- 
sinifies slightly by the action of a high temperature. Safrol has a 
density of 1*1141 at zero, and remains liquid at — 20°. It does 
not combine with the bisulphites. By the action of an excess of 
bromine it yields a solid crystalline pentabrominated derivative, 
CioHsBr^Oa- — Wood, F.C.S., in Pharm. Jour., London, 
Dec, 1869. 


M. A. Lieben states that the following reaction affords the 
means of detecting small quantities of alcohol. 

A small quantity of the suspected liquor is introduced into a 
test-tube with some grains of iodine and a few drops of caustic 
soda. The mixture is heated slightly, but without boiling; if 
alcohol is present, a yellowish crystalline precipitate of iodoform 
is deposited. He avers that ^o^ooth of alcohol dissolved in water 
can be thus detected. 

By applying this test to the examination of ether, M. Lieben 
has found that it is very difficult to remove the last traces of al- 
cohol from that substance by washing with water. To avoid so 
many washings he thinks it better to submit the ether to an oxi- 


dizing mixture of bichromate of potash and sulphuric acid ; then 
to remove the products of the oxidation of the alcohol bj wash- 
ing once or twice with water. 

M. Lieben has also applied his reaction to the examination of 
urine after drinking alcoholic liquids. He can always detect al- 
cohol in the first portions of the distillate. — Q. H. Wood, F.O.S., 
in Pharm. Jour.^ London, Dec, 1869. 

By H. Treverton Bond. 

Allow me to suggest the following preparation, which I have 
christened " Glyceratus," as an article that in many prescrip- 
tions can be used with advantage in place of simple syrup. 
Take of Glycerin, one pint, 

Water, two pints. 

Mix them. 

The objections to simple syrup are too well known to need 
mention, while the great solvent power of glycerin (see U. S. 
Dispensatory, p. 419,) render it far superior in many instances. 
This preparation undergoes no change, and can be readily made. 

If the syrup in various ferrated elixirs be replaced by 
" Glyceratus,'' the tendency to change either by precipitation or 
darkening will be found to be entirely obviated, or to exist in 
but a very slight degree. 

Wheeling, West Virginia, Feb. l^th, 1870. 

By M. Stadeler. 
Liebig prepares chloral by passing dry chlorine into absolute 
alcohol, and gradually increasing the heat until chlorine ceases 
to be absorbed. 8 oz. alcohol require a rapid and continuous 
current for at least twelve hours. The residue, which generally 
crystallizes, is agitated and gently heated, with twice or three 
times its volume of concentrated sulphuric acid ; the crude 
chloral is separated, and by boiling for some time and by recti- 
fication over lime it is freed from alcohol and muriatic acid, the 
distillation being stopped when the liquid no longer covers the 




Chloral is an oily, colorless liquid, of a penetrating odor, and 
somewhat biting taste ; it boils at 94° C. without decomposition. 
Mixed with little water, heat is evolved and hydrate of chloral 
produced, forming a colorless mass consisting of acicular crys- 
tals ; these crystals are soluble in water ; the solution possesses 
odor and taste of chloral, and on evaporation over siilphuric acid 
yields large rhombic crystals of hydrate. Heated with alkalies 
it is decomposed into chloroform, metallic chloride and formiate 
of alkali. 

Stadeler's method is as follows : 7 parts of muriatic acid are 
gently heated with 1 part starch until the paste is converted 
into a liquid ; 3 parts black manganese and a little table salt 
are then added ; the mixture is rapidly heated to boiling when 
the fire is at once removed. The mass foams considerably, giv- 
ing off carbonic acid and continuing to boil for some time. After 
boiling ceases, heat is again applied until the distillate ceases to 
be rendered turbid by strong potash lye. The oily drops float- 
ing upon the surface are carefully removed, the liquid is satu- 
rated with table salt and distilled, the distillate being again 
carefully freed from an odorous sulphur yellow oil. The distil- 
lation over table salt is repeated several times, to obtain a con- 
centrated aqueous solution of chloral, which is saturated with 
chloride of calcium and rectified from an oil bath, when the 
hydrate distils as a colorless liquid which soon congeals. On 
mixing the hydrate with four times its volume of sulphuric acid, 
chloral is separated as a colorless liquid, which is freed from 
muriatic acid by slow boiling. This purified chloral, mixed with 
water, yields pure hydrate of chloral. — Zeitschr. d. oesterr, 
Apoth. Ver, 1869, 524. 

By a. Sperlich. 

For some years past an article has been met with in commerce 
under the name of balata, which has properties intermediate 
between caoutchouc and gutta percha, and is used for similar 
purposes. Balata is prepared from the milky juice of the bully 
tree, Sapota Mueller^ Sapotacece, which is indigenous to Guyana, 
the product being exported to Europe mainly from Berbice. 


Balata contains only few per cent, of oxygen, and therefore 
was supposed to be mainly a carbohydrogen, mixed with an oxy- 
genated body. Cut into small pieces, crude balata was boiled 
with slightly acidulated water, which removed a small quantity 
of a yellowish brown coloring matter. The residue dried yielded 
to boiling absolute alcohol a colorless resin. The undissolved 
portion after drying was digested with bisulphide of carbon, and 
gradually dissolved to a colorless liquid, leaving a little of a 
brown ligneous body behind. The white transparent film left 
on distilling the bisulphide of carbon was repeatedly boiled with 
spirit of ether, then dried and analyzed ; it contains 88-49 car- 
bon and 11*37 hydrogen, nearly the same figures which Adriani 
obtained for pure gutta percha. 

In the dried milky juice of the bully tree, the author found 
81*31 carbon and 10*17 hydrogen ; the balance is ascribed to 
oxygen. — Zeitschr. d. allg. oesterr. Apoth. Ver., 1869, 625, from 
Sitzungsher. d, Kais. Akad, d. Wiss., lix. 

(Sbitonal Department 

Case op alleged Aconite Poisoning in San Francisco. — Several 
pharmaceutists having forwarded to the Editor copies of newspaper arti- 
cles in which the circumstances surrounding a case of alleged poisoning 
are stated pro and con, we are at a loss to decide whether it should be 
noticed at all at this late period ; nevertheless, after a careful weighing of 
the evidence as therein produced by both the coroner and the druggists, 
we believe the cause of truth may be served by giving a brief account of 
the case. 

On the morning of Sunday, Dec. 12th, 1869, George Murray Thompson, 
a young lawyer of San Francisco, met his physician, Dr. Bates, on the 
street, and they went together to the lawyer's office at his request, and 
the physician finding him nervous, with symptoms tending toward mania 
a potu, gave him the following prescription : 
Tincturae Lupulinae. 
Extracti Valerianae Fluidi, aa f^j, 
Extracti Scutellariae Fluidi, f^ss, 
Aquae Camphorae, f Jiss, 

Sacchari, 5ss. M. 

Sig. — Dose, a tablespoonful every three hours, to produce sleep. Dr. 



Mr. Thompson decided not to use the prescription until evening, ac- 
cepted an invitation to dine at Mr. Carr's, and afterwards accompanied a 
lady to church, returning at 9 o'clock, P.M., when he went to Mr. Bur- 
nett's drug store and had it compounded by William P. Hedges, his chief 
clerk. In about half an hour he returned, saying the medicioe was too 
strong for him, and desired to be relieved by a stomach pump. Dr. Quin- 
lan happening to be present, and being made acquainted with the pre- 
scription, advised Thompson to go home, he would soon be better. Dr. 
Q. actompanied him to a hotel, where he was seized with spasm, and 
the clerk refused him a room. Dr. Q. then sought a carriage, but re- 
turned without one, found the patient " twisting and turning" with pain, 
and gave him brandy, which was instantly rejected. He died about 11 
o'clock, previously suffering intense pain. Dr. Q. thought the cause of 
death was " cerebral difficulty caused by liquor." The bottle containing 
the remainder of the medicine was taken from the pocket of the deceased 
and sealed up, at Dr. Q.'s request, at the hotel. 

The Coroner, Dr. Letterman, states that the bottle was received, with 
the body, by his clerk, that it was two-thirds full, and that it was not 
opened until, before leaving it for the chemist, Mr. Howden, at Wakelee's 
drug store, he opened it there in the presence of four witnesses, who each 
tasted its contents, and, from its physiological effects, were each satisfied 
that aconite was in it, and then resealed the bottle. Mr. Howden is the 
chemist at Wakelee's laboratory, and is employed by the coroner. 

Mr. Howden stated in substance that he had received the stomach in 
a jar, and the bottle of medicine, sealed ; one-half of the latter, in the 
original bottle, was returned to the Coroner. The contents of the sto- 
mach, amounting to five ounces, were turned into a porcelain dish, and 
the organ itself well washed into the dish with twelve ounces of alcohol, 
containing some acetic acid. They were digested for two hours with 
occasional stirring, filtered, the filtrate evaporated on a water bath nearly 
to dryness, the residue treated with water, filtered and evaporated care- 
fully to a drachm, ammonia added in excess, and the mixture treated 
with repeated portions of ether, decanting the ether each time. The 
ethereal liquid was then evaporated to dryness, and the residue contained 
aconitia, and had the peculiar effect of aconite when tasted. One-thirti- 
eth of a grain of it killed a kitten in twelve minutes. The mixture in the 
bottle was treated in the same way, and gave a similar result. The infer- 
ence was therefore strong that the contents of the bottle had caused 

We have nowhere seen a copy of the verdict of the coroner's jury, 
but from the published proceedings of the meeting of the California 
Pharmaceutical vSociety it may be inferred that it was to the effect that 
George Murray Thompson came to his death from the effects of aconite, 
put in a mixture by mistake on the part of the clerk, Mr. Hedges. 

The meeting above referred to met on the 27th of December, and its 
object was "to investigate the charges preferred against one of its mem- 



bers by the recent action of the coroner's jury in their verdict as to the 
cause of the death of George Murray Thompson." Mr. Burnett was 
called upon to state the case, which he did much as in the fore part of 
this notice, and then testified to the careful habits of and his entire con- 
fidence in Mr. Hedges. Dr. Bates stated that he had prescribed for Mr. 
Thompson as a case of incipient mania a potu. Dr. Quinlan stated that 
when he first saw Thompson his pulse was 100, that he considered him 
suffering from delirium tremens, and that he died of the same. He did 
not believe that aconite could be found in the medicine, and offered to 
wager $500 that no chemist can extract aconite from a mixture. He re- 
flected strongly on the coroner, charging him with malpractice, and 
blamed the chemist for not reserving a portion of the stomach and con- 

Dr. Grey had seen two deaths from aconite, and in both cases the pulse 
became almost imperceptible before death. 

Prof. Price said that a chemist could separate aconite from anything 
admixed with it, but afterwards he could only recognize and identify it 
by its efi'ects physiologically. 

Mr. Burnett asked why the chemist looked for aconite instead of mor- 
phine, and said he should not be blamed for the contents of that bottle 
after it had been in Wakelee's drug store, and thought it preposterous, at 
the same time disclaiming any intimation that Wakelee had tampered 
with it, though he was positive some one had. 

After some further discussion, the Society passed the following resolu- 
tions : 

"■Resolved^ That after due investigation as to the matter of the death 
of George Murray Thompson, this Society believes that his death was not 
the result of a mistake in compounding the prescription, as alleged by 
the coroner's jury. 

''Resolved, That we deprecate the action of the coroner in accepting 
unsworn testimony before an unscientific jury, without giving the apothe- 
cary, who was indirectly implicated as having caused the death, an oppor- 
tunity of shaking the evidence by cross-examination or counter-testi- 

In reviewing the evidence and facts as stated, and assuming that Mr. 
Hedges was innocent of a mistake (and that is the ground taken by the 
Pharmaceutical Society), it would have been right to have sought in the 
mixture for all the ingredients proper to it. If they were all there, — and 
all but the scullcap could be readily detected by sight, taste and smell, — 
the inference would have been powerfully in favor of the innocence of 
Mr. Hedges, and of the introduction of the poison in some other way. 
But if it had been proved that the lupulin, the valerian, or even the scull- 
cap, was not present, it would have been 'a strong evidence that Mr. 
Hedges had inadvertently substituted aconite for the missing ingredient. 
In his evidence before the coroner, Mr. Hedges testified " that the pre- 
scription was composed entirely of vegetable productions," and was not 
questioned as to what he did put in; nor was Mr. Hedges in evidence 



before the Pharmaceutical Society when the matter was investigated. 
Some may consider it strong presumptive evidence of innocence on the 
part of Mr. H. that he did not himself doubt his having dispensed the 
prescription correctly so far as to examine the medicine by taste and 
smell, but in our opinion he should have done so in any case, if only to 
convince the patient that he was sure all was right. If he had done so 
in this instance he would instantly have detected the aconite, and the life 
of Mr. Thompson might in all probability have been saved by emetics, or, 
as he had asked, by the pump and auxiliary treatment, a physician being 
on the spot. After nearly forty years' experience at the dispensing coun- 
ter, we are more and more impressed with the truth that the price of 
safety in dispensing is unceasing vigilance on the part of the dispenser, 
and that none of us are invulnerable to a mis-step. 

As regards the testimony of the principal medical witness, we are not 
surprised that it should be set aside by the Coroner's Jury in their ver- 
dict. He was with the patient at the drug store, where he could have 
examined the medicine and got at the truth ; but it does not appear that 
he did so, or that he even suspected the probability of an error, and the 
man died in his presence without an effort to save him, although the suf- 
ferer had pointed out the way in a manner calculated to arouse his sus- 
picion of poison. His wager, that no chemist could extract aconite from 
a mixture, was in character. It is an unjust reflection on chemistry, and 
is untrue. Aconitia can also be detected by tests, which, though appli- 
cable to some other bodies, are, when taken in connection with the physi- 
ological test, strongly characteristic and not to be set aside. 

As regards the action of the Society in the premises the testimony was 
all on one side, and the resolutions naturally flow from the testimony. If 
the meeting was called to protect a fellow-member from the imputative 
action of a coroner's jury it was in character ; but if it was intended to 
investigate the truth of the verdict (and this should have been its object) 
it seems to be proper that the testimony should have included that of 
Mr. Hedges, the only person beside the chemist who could be expected 
to know what was in the mixture. 

We cannot let this matter pass without saying that it is no part of a 
coroner's jury to condemn or defend an individual situated as Mr. Hedges, 
but only to endeavor to get at the true cause of death. 

The List of Members and Graduates of the Philadelphia College 
OF Pharmacy, printed in the pamphlet accompanying the January num- 
ber, has been found to be imperfect, several names having been acci- 
dentally omitted. This is greatly regretted by the Committee having the 
matter in charge, especially as several prominent early members are 
among the omissions. The Editor has been requested to state that a 
thorough revision of the records of the College will be made as early as 
practicable, and a revised list published. 



The Sale of Alcohol by Apothecaries. — Cannot something be done 
to relieve apothecaries from the necessity of taking out a liquor license in 
order to sell alcohol for the numerous proper and useful purposes to 
which it is applied wholly unconnected with its use as an ingredient in 
beverages ? According to the ruling of J. W. Douglass, Acting Commis- 
sioner, in November last, " druggists and apothecaries cannot sell al- 
cohol in quantities exceeding half a pint at one time, nor can their sales 
of alcohol, including their sales of other spirits, exceed in aggregate cost 
value the sum of $300 per annum, without liability to payment of a 
special tax as liquor dealer." According to the letter of this rule an 
apothecary may sell any officinal liquor in quantity not exceeding half a 
pint, and in annual value not exceeding 300 dollars. According to an- 
other ruling, potable liquors can only be sold by the apothecary when 
prescribed by a physician, unless he has a license. Which is true ? — The 
law certainly should leave the apothecary sufficiently untrammelled to 
serve the proper need of the sick. 

The Alumni Association of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. 
— The attention of those of our readers who are interested is requested to 
the following : 

The second annual reunion of the Alumni Association of the Philadel- 
phia College of Pharmacy will be held on Monday evening, March 21st, 
1870. A cordial invitation is extended to members throughout the coun- 
try. Those desiring to attend will please notify the Secretary at once. 
Any communications intended for that occasion must be sent to 

Clemmons Parrish, Secretary, 
800 Arch St., Philadelphia. 

School of Pharmacy. Annual Commencement. — The lectures having 
closed and the examinations in progress, it may be stated that the com- 
mencement ceremonies will be held in the Academy of Music, on the 
evening of March 22d. The Valedictory by Prof. Bridges. 

Proceedings of the American Pharmaceutical Association at the Seven- 
teenth Annual Meeting, held in Chicago, III., Sept. 1869 ; also the Con_ 
stitution and Roll of Members. Philad., Merrihew & Son, 1870 : pp. 
468 octavo. 

"The Proceedings" came to hand about the second week in February, 
and in the execution of the volume as regards printing, paper and bind- 
ing, are creditable to those concerned in getting it out. The preliminary 
portion, or minutes of the meeting, which embodies nearly the whole of 
the phonographic report of Mr. Slade, is full of interest, and will supply 
those who did not attend the meeting with a full and connected account 
of it. Mr. Slade is a most excellent reporter. The Report on the Pro- 
gress of Pharmacy, by Dr. Frederick Hoffmann, of New York, is an 
elaborate work o 161 pages, full of interesting details of great value 



to those seeking hints as to what has been done for pharmacy during the- 
previous year, and where to find it. We have no space to enlarge on it, 
but must approve of the fullness given to it, which enables the reader 
to form, in many instances, a fair idea of the papers alluded to. We 
consider it highly creditable to the ability and perseverance of Dr. Hofl- 
mann, and we think his name might well have been appended to it by the 
Editor, as is usual with such reports, as the modesty of the author no- 
where makes his name appear. 

The Report on Specimens, by IVlr. T. Whitfield, is an enumeration of 
the specimens on exhibition. The Committee does not attempt an 
analysis of the merit of the exhibition, being prevented by the brevity of 
the period at their command for examination, and they suggest that in 
future occasions of the kind, the Association should devote the time of 
one session solely to the personal examination of the articles exhibited, 
to prevent absence from the meeting for that purpose as well as to do 
justice to the exhibitors, who go to great trouble and expense to make 
their contributions. 

The Report on the Pharmacopoeia, by Dr. E. R. Squibb, occupies 
fifty printed pages. It is an individual report, for which the reporter 
only is responsible, and has been a work of much labor, based on the 
constantly recorded observations of the author during the past ten years. 
The remarks on the preliminary notices embrace many useful hints for 
the coming revision. The metrical system of weights is advocated, as is 
the abandonment of measures of capacity. The manipulation of perco- 
lation has to be so modified to meet the physical condition of drugs in 
relation to solvents that the reporter doubts the propriety of directions 
for universal application, and that each preparation should be specially 
explained in this regard. In commenting on the Materia Medica the 
report makes the most sweeping recommendations of dismissal, which 
include 57 articles in the primary list and 70 in the secondary. We con- 
sider the reporter occupies the wrong standpoint to judge of what should 
constitute the Materia Medica list for a population and a medical pro- 
fession embracing so many nationalities ; not to speak of that numerous 
body called country practitioners, who often set great value on indige- 
nous remedies. That which will suit the circumscribed condition of the 
army and navy is wholly unsuited to meet the daily wants of a pharmacy 
whose prescriptions take a wide range, We therefore think the Asso- 
ciation very properly disclaimed an approval of this part of the report. 
The reporter's comments on the processes of the Pharmacopseia pos- 
sess many valuable hints, the result of careful study, and which deserve 
careful notice by the forthcoming Revisional Committee, yet there are 
not a few suggestions that will not be approved of by many. 

Mr. Faber's report of the doings of the International Pharmaceutical 
Congress, at Vienna, is full and interesting. In regard to the Special 
and Volunteer Reports, we believe they are neither so numerous nor so 


valuable as in some former years. Quite a number of them have been 
reprinted in this Journal, and will speak for themselves. 

We cannot leave this notice without expressing our regret at the 
prospective resignation of Prof. J. M. Maisch as Permanent Secretary. 
The qualification for the post is not easily met with, and even the best 
have to serve an apprenticeship of years to become familiar with the 
routine of the service. We hope that Prof. M. will be persuaded to with- 
draw his resignation and that some part of his duties will be laid on other 

Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society. Yol. XI, No. 82. 

This number extends from June 18th, 1869, to Dec. 17th, 1869, and 
embraces a number of interesting papers on natural history, astronomy, 
geology, meteorology, Indian relics, etc., but the paper most interesting 
to pharmaceutical readers is that of Prof. H. C. Wood, Jr., " On the 
medicinal activity of the Hemp Plant as grown in North America,'^ a 
prize essay read before the Society Nov. 19th, 1869. It has been con- 
sidered that the peculiar resin of the tops and leaves of Cannabis sativa, 
so much esteemed in medicine, is only developed in quantity in the 
warmer countries of Asia, In fact an experiment made by us a few years 
since on hemp leaves grown in Philadelphia proved them to contain but 
little resinous matter. Dr. Wood, however, obtained male plants 
grown for the purpose of fertilizing seeding female plants, and which, 
having fullilled that office, were of no further value to the cultivator," 
being furnished by R. B. Hamilton, Esq., of Lexington, Ky. Dr. Wood 
treated half an ounce of the powdered leaves with alcohol, and by evapo- 
ration obtained an extract. He took between 20 and 30 grains of this 
extract at a dose, which, after several hours, produced the eflfects char- 
acteristic of the Indian hemp in such a forcible manner that it should be 
called poisoning, commencing with a joyous elevation of spirits and pass- 
ing into other and alarming symptoms, the most distressing of which was 
a feeling of impending death, &c., &c. The physiological details reported 
by the author and his friend, Dr. Thomas, who attended him during the 
paroxysms, are sufficiently interesting, but the space at command here 
is so brief that we must pass them by to state that subsequent pharma- 
ceutical trial with the Kentucky hemp tops and leaves afforded four or 
five per cent, of resin deprived of extractive by means of carbonate of 
soda. This was tried and found active in three-fourths of a grain. Sub- 
sequently Messrs. Hance Brothers & White prepared some of the resin 
after the manner of Messrs. T. & H. Smith, of Edinburg, which in one- 
fourth gr. doses produced decided therapeutic effects. Dr. Wood infers 
from his results that the male hemp plants of Kentucky are capable of 
replacing the East Indian drng, and that the hemp resin only should be 
recognized by the Pharmacopoeia, prepared by a method analogous to 
that of the Messrs. Smith, of Edinburgh. It is a matter of much interest 
to have the pharmaceutical part of the subject fully investigated by a 



competent pharmaceutical chemist on the spot, as to the proportion and 
quality the resin afforded by the male and female hemp plants to the 
Kentucky and Missouri hemp regions. If Mr. Lewis Diehl, of Louisville, 
Ky., would undertake this and report his results to the Association next 
September, he would greatly aid in getting a solution of the question, 
whether the development of hemp resin is influenced by the gender of 
the plant, or whether it is soil, climate, or other circumstances. We 
may state that the hemp tops and leaves of our experiment (see Amer. 
Jour. Pharm., 1865, p. 23) above alluded to, were collected in August, 
1864, from seed-bearing plants six feet high, grown near Coates and Broad 
Streets, in Philadelphia. Dr. Wood, alluding to the supply for pharma- 
ceutists, says, " the male seeding plants in Kentucky, after they have 
shed their pollen, are worthless. It was with such plants the experi- 
ments were instituted. A considerable supply of them might be obtained, 
so Mr. Hamilton writes me, for little more than the expense of gathering 
them, or if the demand should exceed the amount of such male plants 
the leaves of the female plants when ready to cut for the fibre might be 
obtained on the same terms. 

Tlie Cell Doctrine : its history and present state. For the use of students 
in medicine and dentistry. Also a copious biography of the subject. 
By James Tyson, M.D., Lecturer on Microscopy in the University of 
Pennsylvania, &c., &c. With a colored plate and other illustrations. 
Philad. ; Lindsay & Blakiston, 1870. Pp. 150, 12mo. 
This volume has been the result of much research into the literature of 
the subject, guided by an earnest desire on the part of the author to 
present the fruits of his labor in a form adapted to greatly aid the student 
of physiology and pathology " He has sought to obtain a continuous 
history of the* cell doctrine 'up to its present state, without embarrassing 
his pages with a large number of isolated facts. He has attempted, how- 
ever, to secure a completeness, and to make the work useful to physicians 
and others engaged in research by careful references and the addition of 
a bibliography which he has sought to make accurate and extended." 

A glance over the work will convince the reader that the author has 
fulfilled his prefatory promise, and has produced a condensed historical 
account of the early and later observations and speculations or theories 
which have marked the gradual development of the present idea of the 
growth of organic bodies from cell nucleoli, as exposed by the microscope. 
It is curious to follow the chain from Galen to Schleiden and Schwann, 
and from these to the present time, when the more perfect views of Hux- 
ley, Yirchow and Beale prevail among physiologists. The book is beauti- 
fully printed on excellent paper, is neatly bound, and reflects credit on 
all concerned. Price, two dollars. 

Chemistry : General^ Medical and Pharmaceutical, including the Che- 
mistry of the British Pharmacopoeia. By John Attfield, Ph.D., F.O.S 



Professor of Practical Chemistry to the Pharmaceutical Society of 
Great Britain, &c., &c. London : John Van Yoorst, 1869. Pp. 624, 

In March, 1867, the first edition of this work was noticed under its 
name, *' An Introduction to Pharmaceutical Chemistry," in 446 pages, 
and the reader is referred to that notice for the general character of the 
present volume. It speaks well for this "Chemistry" that a second 
edition has been so soon demanded, and the fact that its size has in- 
creased from 446 to 624 pages assures us that this is not a mere reprint 
of the first edition. Little is to be learned from the author's preface of 
the changes or additions, but in looking the work through the reader will 
find that many parts are re-written, others extended by addition, and in 
a few instances mere notices have been expanded into chapters, as, for 
instance, the fatty oils, the resins, and the coloring principles. The chap- 
ters on alkaloids and glucosides have been much improved, as has that 
on the alcohols. The chapter on weights and measures and specific 
gravity has been increased, and the metric weights strongly urged for 
general use. The chapters on volumetric and gravimetric analysis are 
less changed than the other parts, but the appendix of tables has been 
extended from eight to twenty-three pages, including many of great use 
in practice. 

Another feature of this edition is that the "questions and exercises" 
are placed immediately after the chapters to which they refer, instead of 
all together in the Appendix, — a change for the better which the teacher 
and student will appreciate. On the whole, it may truthfully be said of 
this edition that Dr. Attfield has increased its scientific accuracy, ex- 
tended its scope, and improved its adaptation as a manual of practical 
chemistry for pharmaceutical and medical laboratory students. 

Proceedings of the First Annual Meeting of the California P harmaceutical 
Society, held at San Francisco, Oct. 11th, 1869 ; also the Constitution 
and roll of members. San Francisco, 1869 ; pp. 27, octavo. 
This pamphlet presents a creditable expose of the doings of this new 
Society at the first general meeting after its organization. The chief 
part is occupied by a report of the Executive Committee, consisting of 
Messrs. Calvert, McBayle, Burnett, Miller and Steele, from which we 
learn that the number of dispensing drug stores in San Francisco city 
and county is eighty-eight, and wholesale stores five ; that the importation 
oi foreign drugs for the year ending October, 1869, was about a million of 
dollars. The following extract from a communication to the Society from 
Dr. Wooster, U. S. Drug Examiner, suggests a new topic : " The Chinese 
import a large amount of simples, and they are much better packed than 
similar articles coming from Europe. It occurs to me that if a committee 
of American druggists should examine Chinese importations, they would 
find many articles which could be imported from China at a better mar- 
gin of profit than from Europe." 



The Flora of California is interestingly noticed. More than eighty 
botanists have visited California between 1792 and 1865. More than 1800 
species have been found, more than fifty of which are forest trees, and 
many others medicinal and deserving of analytical investigation. The 
report speaks of the growing evils from excessive competition in trade, 
and of the necessity of more care in the sale of poisons. The establish- 
ment of a school of pharmacy is advocated. Suggestions relative to the 
revision of the Pharmacopoeia occupy a part of the report, advocating 
the idea of remembering California in the adaptation of the materia 
medica and preparations to the wants of the United States ; and. suggest 
a list of preparations needing revision. The reporters also suggest that 
a fusion of the United States and British Pharmacopoeias would be an 
advantage, — a suggestion made (we believe) without due consideration of 
the premises involved, and which would certainly not improve our own 
code in the direction of American ideas of pharmaceutical reform. 

The metrical system of weights and measures is advocated, a more de- 
cided attention to preliminary education in the choice of ^tpprentices 
urged, and a peroration tending to stimulate liberal views, and to suppress 
rivalry and jealousy in business. There is also appended to the report a 
list of queries to be reported on at the next meeting (in the manner of the 
Association), which may call forth much useful information. So good a 
beginning deserves the encouragement of all well-wishers of pharmacy, 
and our mite is fully and cordially extended. The Society is composed 
of ninety-four members and four honorary members. All but eleven of 
the present list of members are in San Francisco. 

On the effects of Opium and its derivative Alkaloids, by S. Wier Mitchell, 
M.D. Published in the American Journal of the medical sciences for 
January, 1870 ; pp. 16. 

This paper, originally read before the Academy of Natural Sciences, is 
devoted to the study of the physical action of the opium alkaloids on 
birds, more especially on pigeons, ducks and chickens, describing a large 
number of experiments on these animals with some remarkable results, 
which may be summed up in the following conclusions, for which only we 
have space, viz. : 

1. "Birds: namely, ducks, chickens and pigeons are never poisoned by 
crude opium, its extract, or acetum opii (black drop) given internally; 
whilst the salts of morphia must be given in enormous doses to produce 
fatal effects when administered in the same manner. 

2. Morphia salts, used hypodermically in excessive amounts, never 
cause sleep or stupor, but act as excitants (convulsants) upon the motor 
centres. In some instances the spasms are tetanoid in character ; but 
in the duck they approach nearest to the typical strychnic spasm. 

3. Thebaia is a tetanizing agent, only inferior in energy to strychnia 
and brucia. 



Narcotina, almost inert in man, destroys birds when employed hypo- 
dermlcally, in doses of from 2 to 7 grains. 

Codeia is a fatal convulsing agent in birds (pigeons). 

Meconin causes emesis when given internally, and is harmless placed 
under the skin. 

Narcein has no perceptible influence except to disturb slightly the re- 
spiratory functions. 

Crytopia in doses from a fifth to half a grain, no effect. 

None of the agents cause sleep in the pigeon, duck or chicken." 

That narcotina should be a bird poison is a remarkable new fact de- 
veloped in these researches. The whole paper is full of interest, and is 
readily accessible in the journal above quoted. 

On the physiological action of the alkaloids Viridia, Veratroidia and 
Resin of Veratrum Viride, and of the Veratria of commerce. By Ho- 
ratio C. Wood, Jr., M.D., &c. Published in the Americal Journal of 
the Medical Sciences for January, 1870; pp. 18 

It will be remembered by our readers that the paper of Charles Bul- 
lock, published in the 37th volume, 1865, page 321, of this journal, and 
continued in the 38th volume, 1866, page 97, announced the isolation of 
two distinct alkaloids in veratrum viride, (which, by the by. Dr. H. C.Wood 
has incorrectly attributed to the Proceedings of the American Phar- 
maceutical Association.) These alkaloids have been named viridia and 
veratroidia by Dr. G. B. Wood, in the 13th edition of the United States 
Dispensatory, now about issuing from the press, and Dr. H. C. Wood has 
undertaken the study of them in the paper above announced. The re- 
sults are summed up as follows : — 

1. " Viridia appears to be but slightly, if at all, locally irritant. 

2. It has no action whatever upon the alimentary canal ; never pro- 
ducing either vomiting or purging. 

3. It exerts no direct influence upon the brain, and the pupil is not 
affected by it, except it be an indirect dilatation of it before death. 

4. It is a spinal motor depressant (probably directly so) producing 
death by paralysis of the respiratory nerve centres, and is without action 
on the muscles or nerves. 

b. It is a direct depressant to the circulation, lowering the force and 
rapidity of the blood streams, slowing the action of the heart, and finally 
affecting the force of the single beat independent of any spinal action it 
may exert. 

Veratroidia appears to be physiolgically as well as chemically, in many 
respects, midway between viridia and veratria. Its influence is : — 

1. Locally it is somewhat irritant. 

2. It is an irritant emetic and sometimes cathartic. , 

3. It exerts no direct influence upon the brain or upon the pupil. 

4. It is a direct spinal motor depressant, producing death by asphyxia, 



and acting at the same time, to some extent, upon the conducting nerves 
and muscles. 

5. It depresses the heart's action, both in force and frequency, but the 
period of depression is followed by one of reaction, its primary cardiac 
action being independent of its spinal influences." 

" Dr. Wood corroborates the statement of Charles Bullock, that the 
purified resin of veratrum viride has no influence on the circulation, and 
is probably inert. 

The Half -Yearly Abstract of the Medical Sciences, being a digest of 
British and Continental medicine, and the progress of medicine and the 
collateral sciences. Edited by William Domett Stone, M.D., F.R.C.S. 
Yol. L. Jan., 1870. Philada. : H. C. Lea ; pp. 296. Price $2.50 per 
annum ; single volumes, $1.50. 

This volume comes freighted with the usual amount of interesting ob- 
servations, and among them we notice articles on chloral from Lieberich, 
Demarquay, Richardson, Dreulafoy and Krishaler. 

The Chemists^ and Druggists' Almanac and Pharmaceutical Text Book, 
1870. London: ''Chemist and Druggist" office, Colonial Buildings, 
Connar St., E. C. 

This well gotten up "almanac" is received from the publishers of the 
Chemist and Druggist, London. It contains over 100 pages. 12mo., and 
is neatly bound in cloth and full of information, legal and professional, 
including many formulae, a botanical calendar, and various tables. Though 
much of the legal information bearing on pharmaceutists applies wholly 
to England, there is much of a general character useful everywhere. 

Braithwaite's Retrospect of Practical Medicine and Surgery. A half- 
yearly journal, part LX., uniform American edition. New York : 
Townsend & Adams, 1870 ; pp. 329, octavo. 

This established semi-annual comes as usual full of valuable articles. 
Among them we notice Dr. Sansom's paper on the therapeutic properties 
of the sulpho carbolates. Dr. Fen wick's paper on calabar bean in tetanus, 
and Dr. Gee's paper on the physiological efiects of apomorphia and 
chlorocodide, derivative products from morphia and codeia, by heating 
them in hydrochloric acid in sealed tubes. 

The European Mail, a full and complete summary of home and foreign 
news for the United States, Canadian Dominion, &c., &c., &c. Pub- 
lished weekly for dispatch by the mail steamers ; pp. 28, folio. 
This valuable and comprehensive weekly is priced at 13 shillings ster- 
ling, with 4s 4d postage ; making about five dollars subscription, post- 


Bowdoin Scientijic Review^ a fortnightly journal. No. 1, vol. 1, Feb. 15, 
1870. Brunswick, Maine ; pp. 16. 

This new journal is edited by Professors Brackett and Goodale of 
Bowdoin College, and embraces several notices of valuable papers, among 
which that of Dr. Wier Mitchell, on the opium alkaloids, is included. 

The Manufacturer and Builder for January and February is received. 
Each number contains 32 large quarto pages, issued monthly, con- 
taining many illustrations. Published by Western & Co., 37 Park 
Bow, New York. 

The New Jersey Pharmaceutical Association. — Just as we are 
closing our columns we are informed by Prof. J. M. Maisch that, at a 
meeting held at Newark, N. J., on the 17th and 24th of Feb., this new 
body was instituted, and Charles H. Dalrymple, of Morristown, elected 


Arthur Wellesley Gabauijan, of New York, died on the 4th of 
January last, at the age of 57. He was a well known and able pharma- 
ceutist, was a member of the American Pharmaceutical Association, and 
a Yic« President of the College of Pharmacy of the City of New York. 

Mr. Gabaudan was born at Pleasant Valley, Dutchess Co., New York, 
on the 7th of January, 1814. His father, a native of Jamaica, was of 
Huguenot extraction, originally from Normandie. He studied both 
pharmacy and medicine, but at the age of 24 devoted himself exclusively 
to the former profession, of which he became an eminent member. Mr. 
Gabaudan leaves a wife and two daughters; but probably no other cir- 
cumstances than the above are of general interest. Yet to his friends 
other impressive recollections do occur, and although Mr. G. became 
prosperous during later years, he formerly met with adversity in business 
not easily overcome. Within a short period he lost his only remaining 
son, and his own death renders the family name extinct. 

The following resolutions were passed by the Board of Trustees of the 
New York College of Pharmacy on the 6th of January : 

" Whereas, In the death of Arthur W. Gabaudan the College sustains 
the loss of a valued officer, and the members of this Board an esteemed 
associate ; 

''Be it resolved, Asa demonstration of respect, that the Trustees at- 
tend the funeral of the deceased, and invite the attendance of the Pro- 
fessors and members of the College ; 

"That the Secretary be requested to transmit to the family of Mr. 
Gabaudan a letter of sympathy in its great affliction ; 

"That an obituary in memoriam of Mr. Gabaudan be published in the 
next issues of the Druggists' Circular and the American Journal of 
Pharmacy, and that the Secretary enter these proceedings on the min- 
utes of the Board." 



Stephane Robinet, pharraacien, of Paris, died on the of December, 
in the seventy-fourth year of his age. He was born at Paris, on the 6th 
of December, 1796. He commenced his education in that city, but was 
afterwards sent by his parents to Germany, where he became master of 
the German language. Subsequently he applied himself to the study of 
pharmacy. He was a pupil of Pelletier, and afterwards of Yauquelin, in 
whose laboratory he finished his, studies in 1814, and after his examina- 
tion opened a shop in Paris, which he subsequently abandoned to devote 
himself entirely to science. 

M. Robinet was the author of numerous papers relating to pharmacy 
in earlier life, and of several translations from the German. He was one 
of the founders of the Journal de Chimie Medicate, de Pharmacie et de 
Toxicologie, now in its 46th year. After 1836 he devoted much time to 
agriculture, and especially to sericulture, in its relations to science, in 
which he appears to have been very useful to the silk growers. 

M. Robinet was an officer of the Legion dlionneur, a member of the 
Imperial Academy of Medicine, and of the Societe de Pharmacie, of 
which he was one of the most eminent members, and of various other 
French and foreign learned societies. The latter part of his life, when 
not occupied in public matters, he devoted to the study of the waters of 
France, and has left an unfinished work on this subject. 

As a pharmaceutist Robinet was an uncompromising enemy of em- 
piricism ; he believed that pharmacy should be practised only by those 
who had bought the right by primary education, examination and the 
diploma, but admitted, nevertheless, that a ruinous competition had forced 
the pharmaceutist to be a merchant to be able to live. M. Robinet was 
a representative man in French pharmacy ; he was a delegate to and 
officer of all the International Pharmaceutical Congresses, being Secre- 
tary of that at Paris in 1867. As a public speaker Robinet was eloquent 
and dignified, with great animation ; he was quick at catching the public 
expression, and made an excellent Secretary. His urbanity and polite- 
ness were always uppermost, and when he had to say hard things he did 
it in a way not to wound. It was our good fortune to receive his kind 
offices, on the occasion last mentioned, in various ways, and at his resi- 
dence, 3 rue de I'Abbaye Si. Germaine, the scene of his labors for science. 
During his visit to Vienna, in September last, as a delegate to the 
third Congress, he contracted a cold that resulted in his death. 

Richard B. Giles, one of the founders of the Pharmaceutical Society 
of Great Britain, died on the 5th of January, at Clifton, in his 78th year, 
having been born on the 14th of June, 1792, at Tewkesbury, He was 
much esteemed by his fellow members." He had the most unbounded 
veneration for those who were active promoters of the establishment of 
the Pharmaceutical Society. He was eager to cooperate in every move- 
ment for the advancement of Pharmacy, and so late as September last 
took part in inaugurating a new Local Association." 



MAY, 1 8 7 0. 

By J. B. Moore. 

To obtain a fresh and nicely flavored article of orange flower 
water is often a diflicult matter. There is scarcely a distilled 
water more variable in quality as found in the market. Its ten- 
dency to degeneration and deterioration is so great that it is im- 
possible to preserve it for any considerable length of time in 
good condition. Its delectable flavor and natural sweetness of 
odor soon become so much impaired as to unfit it for the pur- 
poses for which it is generally employed. Preserved with sugar 
in the form of syrup is the only way in which it can long be 
preserved and rendered available for use. 

As a vehicle or flavor to^ disguise the taste and improve the 
flavor of the bitter tonics, rhubarb, various saline and other un- 
palatable remedies, and to impair the disagreeable odor of some 
ofi'ensive medicines, it is unsurpassed by any of the other dis- 
tilled or aromatic waters. Its usefulness is not alone confined 
to its qualities as a flavor, but it also possesses decided remedial 
powers as a nervous sedative, and is highly esteemed by some 
medical men for its virtues in allaying nervous irritability and 
inquietude, and composing nervous restlessness, affording placid 
and refreshing sleep when other more popular remedies have 
failed. But owing, I presume, to the great uncertainty experi- 
enced by physicians in obtaining a good article when prescribing 
it, and the feeble and almost worthless character of the officinal 
syrup, it has lost much of its popularity and has fallen compara- 




lively into disuse. It is now rarely ordered in prescriptions ex- 
cept by a few medical men who have experienced its thera- 
peutic value in certain nervous affections. The French employ 
it very extensively as a nervine. 

In conjunction with other appropriate remedies, it not only 
renders the mixture more palatable, but frequently also increases 
the therapeutic power of the combination. 

I would propose the following formula for making the syrup, 
which, I think, will give satisfaction, possessing the merit of sim- 
plicity and yielding a most excellent preparation : 
R. Orange flower water (filtered), one pint. 

White sugar, in coarse powder, thirty troy-ounces. 

To the orange flower in a half-gallon bottle add the sugar, and 
shake frequently until dissolved, and strain through muslin. If 
it is desired to finish the syrup quickly, the solution of the sugar 
may be facilitated by placing the bottle, tightly corked, in warm 
water, not too hot, and agitating it occasionally. But heat should 
not be employed when it can be avoided. In warm weather it 
is never necessary. 

When the demand for the syrup is limited, I would advise 
that what is not required for immediate use be at once trans- 
ferred to small bottles, filled to the cork, sealed and kept in a 
cool dark place, which I have no doubt will insure the preserva- 
tion of the aroma and flavor of the syrup for a long time. With- 
out this precaution, however, the syrup will keep well. A sam- 
ple in the possession of the writer, made about the 15th of last 
September, is now apparently in excellent condition, showing no 
evidence of change, and with its odor and flavor preserved in 
great perfection ; while a very carefully prepared sample, made 
in strict conformity to the officinal formula, began to change and 
loose its odor in about two months after it was made; both 
samples being kept together on the upper shelf in his store-room. 

The yield of the above formula is about thirty-six fluidounces, 
and consequently contains sixteen thirty-sixths or nearly one- 
half of its bulk of orange flower water, while that of the officinal 
formula contains but five fluidounces of the latter in forty-four 
fluidounces of the syrup, or about one-ninth of its measure. 

To produce a nicely flavored syrup it is absolutely necessary 



that great care and scrutiny be exercised in selecting for the 
purpose fresh and well-preserved orange flower Avater of the 
most excellent quality. The best imported into this market is 
known as " Chiris','' yet I have found this very variable in 
quality. Different samples of the same importation will some- 
times vary very much ; the quality of one sample in richness 
and delicacy of odor and flavor being far superior to that of an- 
other, notwithstanding the same care having been bestowed in 
the preservation of each. I am unable to account for this dis- 
parity in quality, nor have I met with any of the importers of 
or dealers in the article, with whom I have conversed upon the 
subject, who could give me a satisfactory explanation of the 
matter. I presume, however, that it is due, in a great measure, 
to greater care and skill having been employed in its manufac- 
ture, or that the finer qualities having been distilled from a finer 
quality of orange flowers. Hence the importance of much care 
in selecting the article, as an inferior quality of orange flower 
water is entirely worthless for any purpose. 

The proper medium dose of this syrup, when employed for its 
therapeutic efi'ects, would be for an adult about a tablespoonful, 
mixed with a little water to relieve its cloying taste. The dose 
directed in the last edition of the United States Dispensatory 
for the ofiicinal syrup is a fluidrachm, which certainly is ^feeble 
potion, especially when the dose of orange flower water is a table- 

JPhiladelphia, March, 1870. 

By Thomas S. Wiegand. 

The subject of excipients for pill masses has been frequently 
referred to by the most careful pharmaceutists as one of the 
most difficult of the many that the dispenser has to meet with 
in the daily routine of his duty ; and as the case has generally 
to be decided at once there is but little time to consult authori- 
ties, if indeed anything applicable to the instance is to be found 
in any systematic treatise. 

It was partly in consideration of these facts and at the re- 



quest of some medical friends that the few hints here appended 
are offered to your readers to assist them in this matter. 

An excipient should be harmless and tenacious during the 
ordinary changes of heat and moisture ; should remain soluble, 
even when mixed with those substances likely to harden it, and 
withal be therapeutically, as well as pharmaceutically, compatible 
with the remedies it is associated with. 

In view of these requirements, gums arabic and tragacanth are 
both obnoxious to criticism, although they can and are used suc- 
cessfully to make the masses cohere, in a short time they become 
so hard that they render many pills almost insoluble, and when- 
ever a pill mass can be formed without the use of either of them 
they should not be employed. 

One of the most desirable excipients for substances which are 
not liable to be deoxidized or reduced, is made by evaporating 
clear honey to about one-half its bulk. When thus treated honey 
is very tenacious, and yet is very readily miscible with the 
juices of the stomach ; when used in the proportion of one grain 
to three of sulphate of quinine the mass is sufficiently firm for 
making pills which, without any acid, are smaller than those made 
in accordance with directions of the pharmacopoeia. 

Ferrum redactum is very advantageously made with this ex- 
cipient, great care being exercised lest any excess be used, as 
the great density of mass renders the pills very liable to flatten 
before becoming dry enough to dispense. The subnitrate and 
subcarbonate of bismuth are also very elegantly made with this 
material, the same care being taken to avoid any excess and for 
the same reason. 

Another excipient of this kind, and which remains soluble for 
almost any length of time, is glycerin, in which one-twenty-fifth 
part of its weight of finely dusted white tragacanth gum has been 
mixed; this material was first suggested to me by Dr. J. 0. Leamyof 
Baltimore, Md. After the tragacanth has been added it should 
stand for twenty-four hours, when it will be fit for use. Pills 
made with this are quite small, and it is well adapted to such 
masses as contain dessicated salts such as dried sulphate of iron. 

Another excipient which admits of a wide range of applica- 
tions is extract of gentian ; its greatest adaptation being in 



those cases where the materials directed are liable to be deoxi- 
dized or reduced by combination with saccharine matters ; calo- 
mel is a most noticeable instance. Nitrate of silver is also a sub- 
stance that is very advantageously made with this material; pre- 
vious to being made into a mass it should be mixed with some inert 
powder, to prevent a too rapid cauterizing action in the stomach. 
The oxalate of cerium is well formed into mass by this extract. 
Wax has been recommended, but it is to be eschewed, as it is so 
nearly unalBfected by the action of the juices of the stomach. 

Pertinent to this subject of pill masses, excipients, &c., is the 
propriety of constructing all the formulae for pills in the phar- 
macopaeia of such quantities that the resulting pill masses should 
be divided into those numbers which are multiples of twelve. 
This subject was very carefully and ably argued by Mr. Alfred 
B. Taylor, in a paper published in the March number of the 
American Journal of Pharmacy for 1860. The advantages of 
such an arrangement are obvious to those who make the pills, 
and all should accede- to any change which is harmless, if by 
doing so the formulae are rendered more easy of execution. Ail 
the pill machines in use by apothecaries are designed to enable 
them to make twelve, eighteen or twenty-four pills, so that to 
increase or diminish any officinal formula based upon such a 
scale merely requires the continued duplication or binary divi- 
sions of such quantities. 

An examination of the nineteen formulas shows that there are 
six different series which cannot be reduced to each other by 
simple duplication or halving. 

The change proposed almost precludes the chance of error, and 
therefore is so much the more desirable. 

Philada., March, 1870. 

By Saml. p. Wright. 

An Inaugural Essay Presented to the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. 

Suppositories have been in use for many centuries. Hippoc- 
rates, who lived between the years 460 and 357, B. C, used 
cathartic suppositories, which were composed of honey, soap, 



salt, nitre, and powdered colocynth. Until late years supposi- 
tories -were generally used for the treatment of uterine affections, 
being but seldom used by introduction into the rectum, and were, 
consequently, made of a large size — one and a half or two 
inches in length — and of a weight as high as two drachms. 
They were made into different shapes, sometimes being spherical 
and often oval, or oblong, in form. At present they are mostly 
used by introduction into the rectum, and are usually made of a 
conical shape. The most convenient sizes are fifteen and thirty 
grains, the former for children and the latter for adults.* They 
have been quite extensively used in France for many years ; 
but in this country are comparatively new vehicles for medica- 
ments. They undoubtedly afford a very good mode of adminis- 
tration, especially when the stomach is weak and refuses to retain 
such remedies as the practitioner may be desirous of employing. 
Three times as much of a medicine may, in general, be given 
per anum as by the mouth, with a few exceptions, of which are 
the topical irritants, such as podophyllin, etc. 

In England the moulds in general use arc those which open. 
They are made of various shapes and sizes, some having the 
cavities arranged in a circle, others in one, two, or three straight 

One objection to these is that many of them do not close 
tightly enough to exclude water. Some prefer these, thinking 
it easier to remove the suppositories from them than any others ; 
but occasionally one or more of the suppositories will adhere to 
them so tenaciously that they will split upon opening the moulds. 
To prevent this there have been a number of substances recom- 
mended, among which are glycerin and some of the fixed oils. 

The moulds, which are made of block tin, or other metals, 
each being cast separately, and of such shape that they may be 
placed in a perforated sheet of tin, which is fitted to a suitable 
tray for cooling the suppositories, are much preferable to those 
before mentioned. The suppositories may be very readily re- 

* When intended for the male urethra they are cylindrical, about two 
inches long, and 3-16 diameter, cast in a glass tube, cooled, and removed 
after instantaneous warming by a wooden piston. — Ed. Am. J. Pharm. 



moved from these if the inner surface is dusted with lycopodium, 
or some similar powder, as recommended by Mr. J. B. Moore 
(Amer. Jour, of Pharm. 3, xvi. 223). 

Paper moulds have almost entirely gone out of use. 

In the British Pharmacopoeia, of 1864, there were two recipes 
given for suppositories. These formulae directed the ingredients 
to be mixed by the aid of heat, and after they cool sufficiently, 
to be divided into equal parts, which were to be made into cones. 
These were to be dipped into a mixture of eight parts of lard 
and one of white wax, melted together, which gave the exterior 
portion a greater degree of firmness than the interior. In these 
formulae there was no butter of cacao, but in the present edition 
the excipients are mixtures of benzoated lard, white wax, and 
butter of cacao. 

Of all the excipients that have been used for suppositories, the 
butter of cacao is decidedly the best. It has been used in France 
for this purpose for more than half a century, and is now in 
general use in the United States. 

Some use a little wax with it for convenience in dispensing in 
warm weather, which is not necessary in this climate, unless the 
suppositories contain a large proportion of liquid ingredients. 

Many practitioners object to the admixture of wax, because 
the temperature of the body is insufficient to overcome its high 
fusing point. Those which are made without the admixture of 
wax, should be thoroughly chilled, and the customer instructed 
to carry them properly, and to keep them in a cool place. If 
one is placed in cold water a few minutes before required for use 
it will be quite firm. 

I have found that the best method for dispensing suppositories 
with dispatch, is to first place the butter of cacao where it will 
slowly melt, reserving a portion — the quantity to be governed by 
the amount of the medicinal ingredients to be incorporated — 
with which the medicaments are to be triturated. This well- 
mixed mass should be thoroughly incorporated by constant stir- 
ring with the melted butter of cacao, which, at the time of 
admixture, should not be much above 100° Fahr., especially if 
an extract is present, because some of these will separate, even 
at a lower temperature. 


The aqueous extract of opium is employed more than any 
other, so I will relate some of my experience with it. 

When it is perfectly dry it may be reduced to a very fine 
powder, and then incorporated with the butter of cacao. If an 
attempt is made to powder it when not perfectly dry, small 
particles will adhere to the mortar and pestle, and it cannot be 
powdered as fine as it should be. When the extract is in this 
condition, after it has been powdered as finely as possible, it 
should be mixed with a small quantity of water (one drop to 
about fifteen grains is sufficient), and then made into a smooth 
pilular mass. When the extract is not hard, yet too tenacious 
to mix with the butter of cacao, it may be rendered quite soft 
by kneading between the fingers, imparting sufficient moisture 
by breathing upon it. When the extract is soft, it should first 
be mixed with about half its weight of butter of cacao. When 
it doesn't mix readily in the mortar, it may be very thoroughly 
incorporated by kneading between the fingers for a few moments, 
when it may be easily mixed with another portion. It would be 
very convenient, and often save time, by keeping a mixture com- 
posed of equal parts of the extract and butter of cacao. 

All the extracts which I have had occasion to make into sup- 
positories may be manipulated as above. It has been recom- 
mended that the extracts be reduced to a creamy consistence ; 
but this would require a large amount of liquid, which is 

By Benton G. Dosch.S 
(From an Inaugural Essay presented to the Philada. College of Pliarm., 1870.) 

The pumpkin is a very common and familiar plant, cultivated 
in most parts of the world. Jt belongs to the natural order of 
Cucurbitaceas : variety Pepo. It attains to the greatest perfection 
in low and moist situations, often attaining an enormous size, 
and is the largest of its natural order. 

Some kinds are highly esteemed and extensively used as an 
article of diet, for pastry, &c. The farmers cultivate it for the 
purpose of feeding cattle, for which it is highly nutritious food. 
For this purpose, however, they are usually deprived of the 



seeds, as the latter are said to diminish the papillary secretions. 
Of late years it has deservedly engaged the attention of numer- 
ous practitioners, as a remedy in taenia. As it has not yet been 
thoroughly examined, I hereby desire to contribute to the inves- 
tigations already made, and I think that my experiments will con- 
clusively show to what it owes its virtues as a therapeutic agent. 

The seeds are the officinal portion, and to these my inquiries 
have been alone directed, although the pulp has been used with 
asserted benefit for the above complaint. 

Experiment 1st. One hundred grains of the seeds yielded 
twenty-five grains of external coating, and seventy-five grains of 
an oily kernel. 

Experiment 2d. Sixteen troy-ounces were treated with 
one pound of ether by percolation. The percolate thus obtained 
yielded about five ounces of a viscid fixed oil of an olive green 
color, changing to a yellowish color on standing. Its taste re- 
sembles that of olive oil with a slight odor of the seeds, insolu- 
ble in alcohol, soluble in chloroform. I next treated the drug 
remaining in the percolator with 95° alcohol, exhausting it 
thoroughly. The percolate was of a pea-green color, and when 
rubbed upon the hands developed the odor of the seeds in a strong 
degree. JFrom this I recovered the alcohol by distillation, re- 
ducing the product to the average strength of fluid extracts. 
The distillate gave no signs of anything but pure alcohol, which 
leads me to suppose that the odorous principle is not volatile. 

I next treated four troy-ounces of the seeds with alcohol by 
maceration, filtered the resulting tincture, and added to it 
an equal weight of water, which threw down a light pre- 
cipitate. The latter I allowed to subside and collected it 
upon a paper filter, dissolved the product in a fresh portion 
of alcohol, filtered and evaporated, which yielded a sub- 
stance of a soft resinous appearance, incapable of becoming 
hard, but rather possessing the properties of an oleoresin. It 
possessed in a strong degree the odor of the seeds, and was to 
the taste aromatic, leaving a slight sense of acrimony upon the 
palate. It is soluble in ether and chloroform, but alcohol dis- 
solves it with greater readiness. I believe it is the principle to 
which the drug owes its efficacy, and propose for its name Cu- 



curbitin, naming it after its natural order, as other species of Cu- 
curbitacese have been used for anthelmintic purposes, and proba- 
bly their remedial properties are due to the same active principle. 

With the preparations before mentioned, Dr. John C. Hall, of 
the Philadelphia Hospital, made the following therapeutical ex- 
periments. He, however, commenced with an emulsion of four 
ounces of the seeds in a pint mixture. This was administered to 
the patient after fasting for twenty-four hours, and followed in 
six hours by a dose of castor oil. The patient passed a few 
fragments of the worm. He next administered one ounce of the 
oil, and followed again in six hours with two fluid-ounces of cas- 
tor oil, with little effect upon the disease. This dose was re- 
peated under similar circumstances with the same unsatisfactory 
result. He next used four fluid-ounces of the fluid extract given 
in tablespoonful doses, with the happy effect of expelling the 
greater part of the worm. 

The latter contributes to verify the statements made in the 
Amer. Jour. Pharm., May, 1869, by Mr. Chas. Hand, in which 
alcohol is given place to, as the best solvent for the active 
principle. But I think that a preparation less alcoholic would 
be more desirable for administration. I have found that glyce- 
rin is a good solvent of the active principle, and I propose it as 
a menstruum for a fluid extract, combining it in the first in- 
stance with alcohol, and lastly to add a small quantity of oil of 
bitter almonds as a flavoring ingredient. 

Take of Pumpkin seeds, sixteen troy-ounces ; 
Glycerin, twelve troy-ounces ; 
Alcohol, a sufiicient quantity ; 
Oil of bitter almonds, ten drops. 
Bruise the seeds with an equal bulk of dry sand until reduced to 
a coarse powder. Having mixed the glycerin with a pint of 
alqohol, moisten the powder with eight fluid-ounces of the mix- 
ture, then transfer the powder to a percolator and pour on the 
remainder of the menstruum. When this has passed, continue 
the process with alcohol until the percolate measures three pints. 
Introduce the product into a suitable still and recover two pints 
of the alcohol. Filter the remainder of the liquid, and add suf- 
ficient alcohol to it to bring the fluid extract to the measure of a 



pint ; lastly add the oil of bitter almonds and agitate until it is 
thoroughly incorporated. The dose may be from gii to gss, as 
the physician may direct. 

These experiments further show that the pumpkin seed is a 
valuable remedy if administered in the proper manner, and as it 
is a drug that can be easily and cheaply obtained of good quali- 
ty, which is not the case with many other remedies of its class, 
it cannot be too highly valued as a therapeutic agent. 

To the Editor of, the American Journal of Pharmacy : 

Bear Sir, — Many readers of your extensively circulated jour- 
nal have no doubt never been fully satisfied with " Syrupus 
Senega," as made according to our Pharmacopoeia ; the product, 
though therapeutically efficient, is an eyesore to all who take 
pride in elegant preparations. 

The subject may therefore be worth a short notice, and I 
would therefore desire to lay before your readers a process I 
have followed for some time with the best results. 

The medicinal virtues of senega reside chiefly in a sapona- 
ceous principle, — polygalic acid, —soluble in water, cold or hot, 
less so in alcohol, which dissolves it vfhen hot, but deposits it 
upon cooling. With polygalic acid are associated gum, resin, 
earthy salts, and other inert matter. 

Diluted alcohol has been employed as a menstruum to prevent 
the solution of these useless substances, which would to some ex- 
tent be taken up by water. Alcohol, on the other hand, ex- 
tracts the resin, which, when the tincture is evaporated, is pre- 
cipitated, and the remaining aqueous solution cannot be made 
perfectly clear by any amount of filtration. 

One of your correspondents suggested a process, which con- 
sisted principally of exhausting the drug with water, evaporating 
the infusion to a small bulk, precipitating gum, etc., by alcohol, 
again evaporating and filtering if necessary, adding sufficient 
water, and dissolving the sugar. This is a complicated process, 
subjects the solution to the long continued action of heat, ren- 
ders several filtrations necessary (and with senega these are very 


tedious, more so when the pores of the filter are closed with an 
abundant precipitate of gum, etc.), and lastly it requires the use 
of alcohol ; this, though cheaper now, is yet worth saving. 

Of the merits of the following process, which, in my humble 
judgment, leaves nothing to desire, I will let your readers judge. 

Take of Senega, in moderately fine powder, eight troy-ounces. 
Moisten this with water, pack into a percolator, and pour on as 
much water as it will absorb. Close lower orifice of percolator 
and allow it to macerate for twenty-four hours, then percolate 
until one pint of infusion has passed. 'Raise this to the boiling 
point, filter when cold, pass enough water through the filter to 
make up the pint, and in this dissolve 24 troy-ounces (or in 
summer 26) of sugar, and strain. 

If the percolation has been carefully conducted, the drug will 
have been exhausted ; if found otherwise, the percolation may be 
continued to exhaustion and the resulting infusion evaporated. 
By boiling for a few moments the albuminous principles coagulate, 
and the filtered solution and syrup are perfectly and permanently 
clear. The small amount of gum, etc., held in solution can 
hardly be objectionable; it does not induce fermentation, and 
the syrup as made above will be found as stable as any. I have 
kept it on a high shelf in a heated room for over a year, and 
never observed signs of change or decomposition. 

Respectfully yours, A. A. K. 

Baltimore, Md., March 5, 1870. 


By Eugene A. Rau. 
(From an Inaugural Essay presented to the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy.) 

This well-known ornamental tree is the largest representative 
in the Northern United States of the natural order Bignoniaceae, 
whither it has strayed from the Southern States, and become fully 
naturalized. The ample size of its cordate, leaves would seem 
to recommend the Catalpa as a shade tree, but owing to their 
being rather sparsely disposed and early deciduous, together 
with the usual uncouth growth of the tree, it is but seldom culti- 
vated for ornament. In the months of June and July the tree 


presents a beautiful appearance, with its large and handsome 
pyramidal panicles of flowers peering through the bright green 
foliage. The flowers, too, do not appear the less handsome upon 
close examination, being of a pure white, mottled with rich 
purple and orange-yellow spots in the throat, and possessing a 
very pleasant fragrance. 

After the early frosts of autumn have stripped the tree of its 
leaves there remain suspended the cylindrical pods, generally a 
foot in length ; these split transversely to the partition, which 
extends the full length of the pod. The seeds are numerous, 
thin, flat and enclosed in a delicate silky envelope, prolonged at 
both ends into finely fringed wings. 

As to the medicinal activity of the various parts of Catalpa 
there seems to exist a variety of contradictory opinions ; while 
many assert the poisonous nature of the bark, others give to it 
valuable antiperiodic properties. A decoction of the seeds, too, 
has been recommended in cases of asthma, although their perfect 
tastelessness does not seem to indicate any medicinal activity. 
Owing to the latter fact chieflv, the following investigations were 
confined to the bark, and, moreover, to perfectly new and care- 
fully dried specimens. The outer, corky layer was rejected, 
and the remaining part or liber retained for examination ; this 
was of a cream color, and possessed, before drying, a rank odor 
and a nauseous intensely bitter taste. It seemed composed of 
several superimposed sections of a pithy nature, separated by 
tough fibrous layers, which rendered the comminution of the bark 
very difficult. :ii^****>i<* 

Exp. III. An alcoholic tincture of two and a half pounds of 
powdered bark was made with stronger alcohol. The resulting 
tincture was of a deep amber color and possessed the peculiar 
odor and taste of the bark. 

With reagents the following results were obtained : with salts 
of the FegOs a greenish black coloration was produced, showing 
the presence of tannin. 

By the addition of alkalies a red coloration was produced, and 
with BaCl a light yellow flocculent precipitate resulted. 

The alcoholic tincture was then concentrated and evaporated 
to the consistence of a soft extract. This was then freely washed 


with ether, to remove all soluble in that menstruum, repeating 
the washings with fresh portions until it ceased to be colored. 

The ethereal solution was evaporated to an extract, the color 
of which was a uniform rather dark brown, the taste excessively 
disagreeable and nauseating. It was acid to litmus and evident- 
ly insoluble in water, with which it formed a turbid mixture. 

The ethereal extract was redissolved in a mixture of equal 
parts of alcohol and water, and boiled with freshly precipitated 
hydrated oxide of lead. Having separated the liquid it was 
found to be of a straw color, very bitter taste, neutral to test 
paper and unaffected either by alkalies or iodohydrargyrate of 

Upon evaporating the liquid by means of a water-bath to 
dryness, the resulting extract was of a yellow color, bitter, in- 
soluble in water, but did not possess the peculiar nauseous taste of 
the bark. 

The PbO was first washed with a small quantity of dilute al- 
cohol and then boiled with stronger alcohol. After filtration, 
and during spontaneous evaporation, there took place a separa- 
tion of white quadrangular micaceous scales. These crystals, 
upon further examination, were found to be insoluble in water or 
dilute alcohol ; sparingly soluble in cold alcohol, but very soluble 
in ether and chloroform. They were insoluble also in dilute 
alkaline solutions and dilute acids, and were neutral to test 
paper, thus seeming to indicate their being a neutral principle. A 
few of the crystals heated upon platinum foil melted and inflamed, 
the remaining mass of carbon finally also incinerating, thus 
proving them to be essentially an organic product. The crystals 
possessed an intensely nauseous and bitter taste, resembling that 
of the bark. Upon further evaporation of the mother-liquor no 
more crystals could be obtained, but a dark resin separated, 
which was readily inflammable, like the crystals, and possessed 
their taste. 

That portion of the original alcoholic extract which remained 
after having been washed with ether, was found to be compara- 
tively tasteless, with Trommer's test gave evidence of the exist- 
ence of glucose, and with sesqui-salts of iron showed the presence 
of tannin. A tasteless resin was also separated which was in- 
soluble both in water and ether. 



By Ur. Robert Battey. 

To the Editor offlie American Journal of Pharmacy. 

Dear /Sir, — In the March number of your Journal J. C. 
Wharton comments upon certain " silky white needles, of a lustre 
something like asbestos," which he has observed to slowly crys- 
tallize down from muriated tincture of iron, and suggests the 
opinion that it is dissolved off from the glass vessel used, and 
also the inquiry if it be not silicate of lime. 

I have several times observed the same long, slender and deli- 
cate needles, in color and lustre just such as he describes, and 
have likewise observed the* following facts ; 

1st. It is only occasionally that my tincture of iron deposits 
these crystals, whilst it always deposits more or less of the 
yellowish precipitate he mentions. 

2d. A given sample of muriatic acid, which has been used 
when the crystals have formed, will uniformly cause their depo- 

3d. That the crystals themselves, when carefully washed and 
tested both in the wet way and before the blow-pipe, give the 
characteristic reactions of sulphate of lime. 

My opinion is that these crystals are only a trace of sulphate 
of lime, introduced as an impurity in some samples of commer- 
cial muriatic acid, and have no necessary connection with the 
yellowish deposit. 

Eome, G-a., 21st March, 1870. 


Editor of the American Jour. Pharmacy : 

Dear Sir, — Tne following may perhaps interest some of the 
readers of the Journal : 

Aqua Chlorinii Extemp, 

Put in a bottle potass, chlorat. 40 grains ; add muriatic acid, 
C. P., J oz. troy. When the' bottle begins to get filled with 
chlorine-vapors add dist. water one fluid-ounce. Stopper the 



bottle, and, when the crystals have dissolved, add dist. water 
up to one pint. 

This chlorine water (suggested in Constatt Jahres. 1845, p. 
91,) will of course contain chloride of potassium, which will not 
be of any consequence, = 24 grains KCl in one pint ; nor can 
twelve grains, at most, of acid do any harm in one pint. I 
would rather dispense chlorine water with a little mur. acid, KCl, 
but ivliicli does contain free chlorine, than a water which, made 
according to U. S. P. once upon a time did contain chlorine, 
but after a few weeks is not much stronger than so much diluted 
muriatic acid. 

As to the above, I make every fourteen days four ounces 
fresh, and throw away the old. 

Excipient for Pills. 

Dr. Jenkins recommended once, in the Amer. Jour. Ph., gly- 
cerin as an excipient for quinine pills, but said it was not quite the 
thing. Let me recommend the use of plasma. The use of it 
originated with a good many in Europe and here in the United 
States. I began to use it in 1862, and was astonished that no- 
body knew anything about it here in the Eastern States. When 
in California in 1867, I found it in general use in San Francis- 
co, Sacramento, &c., and learned there that plasma is the best 
excipient for pills that have to be silvered ; the pills get so 
sticky that they need no moistening at all. 

The sam.e caution applies to plasma as to glycerin, viz. : not 
to take too much, the glycerin oozes out. Of course plasma is 
not the best excipient for all pills. Pil. cathart. comp. U. S. P., 
for instance ; the only proper vehicle here is water. Plasma 
makes a plastic pill mass with camphor pulv. 

Fr. Mohr recommends to keep substances which easily attract 
moisture over unslaked lime or chloride of calcium.* From 
time to time the lime has to be renewed. Would not powdered 
ergot, for instance, kept in this way, be reliable to the last grain ? 

Evaporation to dryness. 
When a preparation has to be heated until it does not lose 

* Put the lime in a box (tin box) with' perforated lid, and put that box in 
the drawer, saltmouth bottle, or other receptable. 


more in weight (till all moisture is driven off), it is customary to 
put it on the scales from time to time, to ascertain if the requi- 
site point has been reached. This is very troublesome, and 
Prof. Wittstein proposes somewhere to dispense altogether with 
the repeated weighings by covering the capsule, crucible (or what 
else implement is used) from time to time with a dry glass plate. 
The glass, being always a good deal cooler than the capsule, etc., 
condenses the vapors of moisture to quite large drops. As long 
as the glass becomes in the least bedewed all the moisture has 
not been driven away. When the glass remains dry and clean 
then you may put the capsule, etc., on the scales, and you will 
always find that the stable point has been reached. 

Frothy Syrups. 

Now approaches the time when soda water flourishes, and the 
following may be of use to some : As a good froth is desirable, 
hitherto the addition of a little gum arable has been recom- 
mended ; aside from the trouble of dissolving it, it does not pro- 
duce a consistent foam with acid syrups (syr. lemon for instance.) 
I learnt in California the use of white of eggs. One white 
shaken with one and a half to two gallons cold syrup is suffi- 
cient ; it produces a persistent foam and imparts, besides (ac- 
cording to my palate at least), a rich, creamy flavor. 

FJdlada., April btlu H. M. W. 

By T. Omar Gut. 

(Extracted from an Inaugural Essay presented to the Philadelphia College of 


These chemical combinations have quite recently come before 
the medical world as new therapeutical agents, but have not been 
thoroughly investigated. There having been no satisfactory 
process given for their manufacture the subject was presented 
to me several months ago for investigation ; since which time I 
have experimented with various combinations, and find the fol- 
lowing to give the most satisfactory results : 
SulpJiocarholic Acid. 

This is first formed by combining, by aid of heat, sulphuric 



and carbolic acids, in the proportion of 49 parts by weight of the 
former to 94 parts by weight of the latter, or one equivalent of 
each according to the old nomenclature. 

The mixture is put into a glass flask with a narrow top, into 
which is inserted a thermometer, and covered over by means of 
a paper diaphragm, in order to keep the fumes from escaping. 
It is then placed on a sand-bath and heat gradually applied 
until the acid is raised to the temperature of 290° F., and kept 
at this point for ten or fifteen minutes, and then allowed to 
gradually cool. 

At first this forms a thick syrupy liquid of a rich wine color, 
which, in time, passes into a crystalline mass, composed of small 
rhomboidal crystals, having a reddish-brown appearance. These 
again become liquid at or about 80° F. 

When the two acids are first mixed, heat is evolved, the tem- 
perature being raised to 190 F. Fumes are given off which are 
again condensed on the sides of the vessel. These have an odor 
similar to carbolic acid, though differing in some respects. 

Sulpho-carbolic acid reddens litmus ; with the sesquichloride 
of iron, also, with the solution of the pernitrate of iron, it pro- 
duces a beautiful purple color, which fades when exposed to the 
sun light for a short time. With chloride of barium, nitrate of 
baryta, and the acetate of lead, it produces a slight opalescence, 
which is probably owing to a little free sulphuric acid. 

Its taste is at first strongly acid, leaving a slight empyreuma- 
tic taste upon the tongue. It also has a strong empyreumatic 
odor, resembling, to some extent, carbolic acid. Its sp. gr. is 
1-288 ; boils at 540° F., and is decomposed at 560° F. into a 
black, shiny, amorphous mass, having lost all of its odor ; solu- 
ble in water and alcohol, and gives a decided reaction with the 
soluble barium and lead salts. 

The acid is soluble in any proportion of water, alcohol and 
ether. It dissolves iodine, and the solution will combine with 
water without throwing the iodine out of solution. 

When heated to 400° F. it becomes of a bright red color, and 
when cooled forms an almost semi-solid mass. If nitric acid is 
added to a portion of sulpho-carbolic acid, it is immediately de- 
composed with violence, nitrophenic acid being formed — a black 



oily liquid giving off a peculiarly disagreeable odor, entirely dif- 
ferent from that of carbolic acid. 

In forming the sulphocarbolic acid I used the chemically-pure 
sulphuric acid, sp. gr. 1*823, and Calvert's No. 2 carbolic acid. 

The interchange of elements which takes place when sulpho- 
carbolic acid is formed may be represented by the following 
reactions : one equivalent of carbolic acid = Ci2^6^2 ~ ? 
equivalent of sulphuric acid SO3HO == 49 ; then C-j^2^6^2 + 
SO3HO Ci^HgO^SOsHO =^G,Jlfi, SO3, 2H0, which might be 
considered sulphophenic acid, or a hydrated sulphate of the oxide 
of phenyl. 

Sulphocarbolic acid has been experimented with in regard to 
its disinfectant properties, and found to be much more efficient 
than carbolic acid alone.* 

With salifiable bases it combines and forms salts, which have 
been called sulphocarbolates. These have a faint odor of car- 
bolic acid, and are supposed to have its therapeutical properties 
combined with its respective bases, without its causticity, ren- 
dering it suitable for internal administration. 

In heating the acid, great care should be used not to heat it 
too suddenly. There is apt to form at the bottom of the vessel 
a black liquid, caused by too great a temperature, resulting in 
the decomposition of the acid. 

Sulphocarholate of Soda. 

This salt is at present considered of the most important of the 
series. It may be produced by taking one volume of sulpho- 
carbolic acid, adding six volumes of water, and completely satu- 
rating with carbonate of soda in crystals. The solution is then 
filtered and evaporated slowly over a sand or water bath until a 
slight pellicle is formed, when it is set aside to crystallize. 
When the crystals are all formed, the mother-water may be still 
further evaporated, and a new crop of crystals obtained. 

Should they contain coloring matter, or the crystals not be well 
formed, a re-solution and crystallization will produce a beautiful 
salt, free from coloring matter and of well defined rhomboidal 
prisms, soluble in five parts of cold water at 60° F. and in two- 

* Yide Pharmacist, Chicago, Sept. 1869. 


thirds its weight of boiling water. Soluble to a slight extent in 
alcohol, but insoluble in ether. 

Sulphocarbolate of soda is a nearly colorless salt, possessing a 
slight pinkish tinge. It has a somewhat saline, bitterish taste, 
and a faint odor of carbolic acid ; neutral to test paper ; pro- 
duces no precipitate with chloride of barium, nitrate of baryta, 
or the acetate of lead. With the sesquichloride of iron and the 
liquor ferri nitratis it produces a beautiful purple color, charac- 
teristic of the sulphocarbolic acid. 

The crystals should be well dried by exposing them to the 
air in a warm place on filtering or porous paper. 

The reactions which take place when the salt is formed may 
be represented by the following equation : ]S[aO,C02 -\- C12H5- 
0, SO3 2H0 = ]SraO,CioH,OS03HO + CO^. 

In heating this salt to a high degree it loses thirty per cent, 
of its weight, and falls into a grayish white powder, giving a 
white precipitate with chloride of barium, nitrate of baryta and 
acetate of lead ; with the sesquichloride of iron and the solu- 
tion of ternitrate of iron it produces a deep reddish color. If 
the heat is continued to redness it takes fire, and burns without 
flame. Nitric acid added to a solution of the salt gradually ac- 
quires a reddish-brown color. 

The therapeutical properties of sulphocarbolate of soda have 
not been thoroughly investigated. It has been used in phthisis 
with marked success ; also in zymotic diseases with favorable 
results. It has been given in doses ranging from ten to sixty 

Several physicians of this city have used the sulphocarbolate 
of soda in the treatment of disease. Among the number the fol- 
lowing have been reported. One case was that of Anna E , 

having suffered from ozena for several years ; the sulphocarbolate 
'of soda was used, varying the strength from two to eight grains 
to the fluid-ounce of water. It was used twice daily, with Thu- 
dicums nasary douche, with the most flattering success. 

It was also used as a topical application in a case of syphilitic 
sore mouth with good results. In this case the strength of the 
solution used was 3i to f^iv of water, f 

London Practitioner, July, 1869. f Cases reported by Dr. Collins. 



As a dressing for fetid leg ulcers, the solution of the sulpho- 
carbolates possesses one advantage over the carbolic acid ; the 
acid in oil or paste is at first generally too stimulating, but soon 
volatilizes, leaving the oil or paste inert. The sulphocarbolates 
being less volatile, but at the same time possessing the antiseptic 
qualities, a more uniform application is obtained. 

This salt was used in several cases of severe tonsillar ulcera- 
tion, which all rapidly recovered without the occurrence of 

It was also employed in several severe cases of scarlet fever, 
every case of which recovered in a less period of time than under 
any treatment which had previously been employed in similar 

[The author also treats of tlie salts of potassa, zinc, lime, baryta, 
magnesia and ammonia, but our limited space precludes the publication 
of the whole paper, especially as the salts have been noticed in the last 
number. Editor Amer. Jour. Pharm.] 

By Edmund Booking. 

A case of Trichina spiralis occurring here is interesting as 
eliciting some new points in connection with this not well under- 
stood parasite. 

A German, named Burdatt, some two weeks since was taken 
at night with an obstinate diarrhoea, which continued and was ac- 
companied by muscular languor and other symptoms of trichino- 
sis. His wife was also affected the same way. Inquiry now 
elicited the fact that on the evening of the night of the attack 
the family had partaken of some raw ham for supper. The at- 
tending physician, Dr. H. J. Wiesil, suspecting trichinosis, im- 
mediately brought some of the meat to me for microscopic ex- 
amination. Apparently the ham presented no objectionable 
features, being rather a piece that would be selected for sweet- 
ness and nice appearance than rejected. But under the micro- 
scope it became almost a literal mass of parasites — myriads and 
myriads of the trichina free from their cysts, as well as incysted, 

*Yide London Practitioner, July, 1869. 



and in all stages of development, being revealed to the view. A 
careful calculation, based on a mounted section, would estimate 
the number of parasites to the square inch of meat at 250,000. 
Some eight or ten days after the meat was eaten a little daughter 
of the persons alluded to was attacked by symptoms of trichino- 
sis, and it is feared will not recover. In the case of the man 
and wife they show signs of improvement. One remarkable 
point in connection with this case is the rapid development of 
the symptoms of trichinosis ; but six or eight hours elapsed from 
the ingestion of the parasitical meat until the disease exhibited 
itself. I shall make further investigations of the meat, and any 
new facts worthy of note, as well as any new developments in 
the several cases of trichinosis, I will communicate. 

In conclusion, I will remark that I have in my possession a 
quantity of the meat, rich in trichina, that I will exchange with 
microscopists for other specimens. 

Wheeling, W. Va., April 7, 1870, 

By the Editor. 

Cod-liver oil as a remedial agent continues to retain its value 
in the opinion of the medical profession, and any information in 
regard to it is interesting to pharmaceutists and physicians. 
Having recently had occasion to converse with Mr. T. E. 0. 
Marvin, engaged in its manufacture under circumstances favora- 
ble to its careful production, we took occasion to elicit some facts, 
and since to obtain some of the by-products which may become 
useful in medicine and agriculture, which consist of the pulveru- 
lent oily matter, constituting chiefly the solid tissues of the cod- 
iivers, in the form left by the press, and of the emulsive aqueous 
liquid separated from the same along with the oil by pressure, 
and which retains all the matters soluble in water that the livers 

The first condition necessary to the production of cod-liver oil 
in its unaltered condition is a sufficient supply of the livers in a 
fresh state. The position of the harbor of Portsmouth, N. H., 



at the mouth of the Piscataqua River, iu relation to the ocean, 
is so convenient, and never freezes over, that it is well fitted for 
the fishing trade. There is a large fleet of fishing vessels here, 
and many more make the harbor a resort to get bait and sell 
their fish. The vessels run out about thirty miles for fish, start- 
ing as early as one o'clock, A.M., so as to reach the fishing 
grounds by daylight. Each vessel carries five small boats or 
dories, and eleven or twelve men, who go out, two in each dory, 
and set their trail lines, which are strung with baited hooks 
about a yard apart. One man rows the boat as fast as he can, 
while the other "pays out " the line from the tubs wherein it 
lays coiled with its two thousand hooks, each baited with a piece 
of fresh herring. When the trail is set it lays along the bottom 
of the sea like the Atlantic telegraph cable, a mile long, with 
small anchors at each end and buoys at intervals. As soon as 
the trail is all down the men row back to the first buoy, which 
they find by means of a small flag attached to an ever restless 
staff upheld by the buoy, and begin the task of hauling in ;" 
and as it is drawn up the fish are taken off and killed, and by 
the time the last buoy is reached the boat is usually loaded with 
noble codfish. Signal is now made to the schooner, which is 
hovering about the five boats as a hen about chickens. The 
boats are unladen alongside of the vessel, one by one, and then 
they steer away for home, to sell the fish and bait the hooks for 
next day. It is in this way that the supply of crude material is 
obtained. In reply to our query how they made their cod-liver 
oil, Mr. Martin says : " It can be told in a few words. First 
we get the livers when they are new and sweet, and subject them 
to a carefully graduated amount of steam heat, using only the 
oil-producing healthy livers, carefully washed and drained before 
their tissues are broken, so that none of the slime from the sto- 
mach or intestines goes into the kettle to make the oil taste or 
smell badly, as it certainly will if that precaution is not observed. 
The livers are now subjected to a steam heat which ruptures the 
oil cells, and causes the oil to rise to the surface, when it is 
skimmed off. The residue is then put in a powerful press, under 
strong pressure, and allowed to remain twelve hours, by which 
the mixed oily and watery parts are mainly separated. Power 



is again applied, and more oil is obtained. The pulpy matter is 
then taken out almost dry. There is a yet finer pulpy matter, 
which oozes through the cloth of the press at the bottom and 

The practical details of " rendering " the oil, as it is called, 
involving the proper cooking " of the livers, require some 
skill and experience, so as to separate it completely and yet not 
oxidize or expose it unnecessarily, so as to induce acridity or 
rancidity. That the oil should keep well it must be entirely 
freed from watery particles ; to be but moderately heated, and 
the process should be executed promptly. Cod-liver oil rapidly 
absorbs oxygen from the air if exposed, and always should be en- 
closed in tight vessels immediately after its preparation. Messrs. 
Marvin Bros. & Bartlett bottle all the oil they make, and thus 
secure it from change. A sample of this oil received with the 
specimens was found to be sweet, and free from acridity or ran- 
cidity, with the odor and taste proper to this oil. 

The pulpy matter left in the press cloth before alluded to, as 
we received it, was of a soft cheesey consistence, of a yellowish- 
salmon color, and possessing the odor of good cod-liver oil ; but 
on keeping it with exposure to the air a few days, it acquires a 
rank, rancid odor of old cod-liver oil, becomes much darker in 
color, and contracts greatly from loss of moisture. It is strongly 
nitrogenous, and when distilled with caustic potassa and chloride 
of ammonium it yields propylamin among other products. So 
far its only use has been for agricultural purposes, as a manure. 

The watery liquid pressed from the livers is presumed to be 
the material used in Paris to make the extract of cod-liver pills, 
of which some notice has been presented in the Journals. We 
had not time to examine this before it spoiled, no means having 
been taken to preserve it. It was our intention to examine it 
' for iodine salts and for propylamin. If there be any merit in 
cod-liver oil due to iodine or bromine, it certainly ought to be 
found in this liquid, — yet it may be questioned whether these 
agents have anything to do with the therapeutic value of this 
popular remedy. 



By John M. Maisch. 

A new delicate test for alkalies.— 'Bcettger recommends for 
this purpose an alcoholic solution of alkanin, with which Swedish 
filtering paper is impregnated ; after drying, the paper is to be 
kept in well corked bottles. The minutest trace of ammonia 
turns the red color blue. If this red paper has been rendered 
blue by a very dilute solution of carbonate of soda, the red color 
will be restored by minute traces of free acids. — Neues Jahrh.f. 
Fharm., 1869, Mai und Juni, 311. 

I^ure iodate of potassa, according to Stas, is readily obtained 
by heating a mixture of equal equivalents of chlorate of potassa 
and iodide of potassium in a retort placed in a sand bath, just to 
the temperature of the fusing chlorate. If the temperature is 
not carried too high, all the oxygen of the chlorate is transferred 
to the iodide. The chloride formed is extracted by cold water, 
and the residue is repeatedly crystallized from hot water. The 
iodate thus prepared never turns yellow on exposure, which is 
always the case when iodine is oxidized by chlorate of potassa. 
— Ibid.y 312, from Journ. f. Pract. Ghem. 1869, 251. 

To detect copper- arsenic colors^ Puscher recommends the use 
of ammonia, which dissolves them with a blue color, and on 
evaporation leaves a dirty yellowish-green residue. If the blue 
solution leaves, on evaporation, a light blue residue, the material 
was dyed or colored with a blue or green copper compound, free 
from arsenic. — Ihid.^ 314, from Bayer. Gewerheztg^ 1869, 35. 

Adulteration of sulphuric acid. — J. Fleischer has met with oil 
of vitriol, manufactured in Stettin, in which sulphate of soda or 
of magnesia had been dissolved to increase its specific gravity. — 
Ihid., 315, from D. Indust. Zeit. 1869, 208. 

Preparation of Oxygen at ordinary temperature. By Prof. 
Boettger. — A mixture of the hyperoxides of lead and barium 
may be kept for any length of time without being decomposed. 
If weak nitric acid (of about 9° B.) be added to it, pure oxygen 
is evolved perfectly free from ozone and antozone ; the peroxide 
of hydrogen which is first generated, in its nascent state, is de- 
composed by the binoxide of lead, water and ordinary inactive 



oxygen being given off. — Ihid.y July 28, from PolytecJin, 
Notizhl. 1869, 252. 

An improved apparatus for Chlorine Water is recommended 
by Rieckher. For the absorbing vessel he uses two Woulfe's 
bottles of equal capacity, which communicate with each other by 
a glass tube reaching from near the bottom of one to the same 
depth in the other ; the last one from underneath the stopper 
communicates by means of another glass tube with a solution of 
soda. The first bottle is nearly filled with water, and the 
generated chlorine is conducted into it beneath the stopper ; the 
pressure of the gas gradually displaces the water from the first 
into the second bottle, wherein the water is saturated. When 
the evolution of gas ceases, the rubber connection between the 
generator and first bottle is closed tightly, the generator and the 
soda solution are then removed, and the chlorine water slowly 
syphons back from the second into the first bottle. R. uses for 
8 lbs. water 2 oz. bichromate of potassa, and 11 oz. crude muri- 
atic acid. If towards the close of the process the first bottle is 
set into a refrigerating mixture of Glauber's salt and muriatic 
acid, crystals of hydrated chlorine are copiously obtained. The 
chlorine water with the suspended crystals is then filled into 
small bottles, the glass stopper is tied over with paraffin paper, 
and the bottles placed upside down in a vessel containing water, 
so that it reaches above the mouth of the bottle. Thus prepared 
and preserved, chlorine water will keep indefinitely. — Ibid., 22 

Adulterated Saffron. — Saffron, containing some yellow fila- 
ments, was observed to be very full and plump, particularly the 
latter ; it was found to have been treated with glucose to increase 
its weight. In another lot the pollen, always present to some 
extent, was found to have been imitated by the addition of 12 
per cent, gypsum. — Ibid. 38, from Deutsche G-ewerbezeitung, 
1869, No. 22. 

To prevent concussions in boiling liquids. — E. Winkelhofer 
generates in these liquids a gas by means of electricity. — Zeitsch. 
f. Qhemie, 1869, 430, from Ber. d, Ghem. (jfesellsch,, Berlin, 
1869, 191. 



Muriatic Acid free from Arsenic. — A. BettendorfF observed 
that arsenious and arsenic acid is precipitated from a sufficiently 
concentrated muriatic acid by the addition of protochloride of 
tin ; the precipitate contains from 96 to 98*6 per cent, arsenic. 
After this precipitate is removed, the muriatic acid may be dis- 
tilled, and is then absolutely free from arsenic. — Ihid., 492 — 

Reduction of Metallic Oxides hy Hydrogen. — W. Muller has 
made a long series of experiments to ascertain the temperature 
at which the reduction to the metallic state takes place with dif- 
ferent modifications of the same oxide. We extract only the 
following, as of particular importance to the pharmacist ; the 
temperatures are in degrees C. : Oxide of iron, prepared by 
heating of the metal in the air, was reduced when moist at 293° 
(corrected temperature) ; when quite dry, at 305 to 339° ; pres- 
ence of nitrogen requires an elevated temperature ; prepared 
from oxalate of iron and moist at 278° j obtained from the ni- 
trate by ammonia, at 286° ; previously heated to redness and 
scarcely soluble in muriatic acid, at the boiling point of mercury. 
Oxide of zinc is not reduced at the highest temperature attaina- 
ble in glass tubes. Oxide of lead and red lead are reduced at 
310 to 315° ; peroxide of lead loses a portion of its oxygen at 
310 to 315°. Red oxide of mercury is reduced at 230, the 
yellow at 127°. Oxide of silver at 70 to 78° ; oxide of gold at 
85° ; oxide of platinum at ordinary temperature. 

Auric chloride causes an explosion when heated to above 200° 
in hydrogen. Bichloride of platinum begins to be reduced at 
85°. The chlorides of silver and lead were not affected. — Ihid., 
507, 508, from Poggend. Ann. 136, 51. 

A ^peculiar balsam of Peru has been met with by Hager in the 
Berlin commerce, and is either a new variety or an excellent 
falsification. It is more limpid, lighter in weight, and of a some- 
what different odor from the genuine. The mixture of equal 
volumes of concentrated sulphuric acid and balsam congeals at 
first in part only ; one-third of the volume remains liquid, but 
congeals afterwards. Petroleum ether dissolves 26, and benzine 
afterwards 8, altogether 34 per cent, cinnamein ; genuine bal- 



sam yields 45 to 50 per cent. This portion was thinner and 
more yellowish than that obtained from the genuine ; it could 
not be saponified with caustic potassa, and separated on stand- 
ing, of a milky appearance, while the cinnamein from the genu- 
ine balsam separates scarcely turbid and often quite clear. On 
distillation, this balsam behaves like the genuine. Copaiba 
could not be found. Its specific gravity is 1-120 to 1425, of 
the genuine 1*14 to 146. Hager regards it unfit for medicinal 
use. — Zeitschr, d. Oesterr. Apoth. Ver. 1869, 280, from FL 
Gent. Halle, ix, 46. 

Adulteration of Cochineal. — Finely powdered sulphate of ba- 
ryta is fixed upon cochineal by some glutinous material. Cochi- 
neal leaves IJ per cent, ashes ; in five samples of adulterated 
cochineal 8, 12, 16, 18 and 25 per cent, of the baryta salt was 
found.— /6zc?., 280, from Ber Apotli. ix, No. 2. 

Pomegranate harh. — Dr. C. Harz reiterates his statement, 
made some time ago, that the commercial bark of pomegranate 
root is in reality the bark of the trunk, occasionally intermixed 
wdth some root bark. The latter has larger cells, and at a short 
distance from the cambium the cells of the medullary rays are 
not elongated, but quadratic. The trunk bark, like that of the 
root, possesses anthelmintic properties. — Ibid., 303, 304. 

Coniferin is a new glucoside discovered by Th. Hartig in the 
cambial juice of Abies excelsa, A. ijeetinata, Pinus strobus, Cem- 
hra, and Larix europcea. The cambial juice is boiled, filtered 
and evaporated to one-fifth ; soft acicular crystals are formed on 
cooling, which are separated by pressure from the saccharine 
mother liquor, and recrystallized from alcohol or water with 
animal charcoal. 

The silky sharp-pointed crystals lose their water of crystalli- 
zation at 100° C, fuse at 185, and congeal to a vitreous mass. 
They are sparingly soluble in cold water and strong alcohol, in- 
soluble in ether. Their taste is faintly bitter. Sulphuric acid 
colors coniferin deep violet ; the muriatic acid solution on heat- 
ing separates a deep blue precipitate. Its composition is 
C48H32O24 + 6 HO. — Ibid.^ 326, from Journ. /. Prakt. Qhem,^ 
vol. 97. 


By W. Stein. 

Dragendorff has described a reaction of narceina wliicli with po- 
tassio-iodide of zinc yields hair-like crystals, which are gradually 
turned blue. According to Stein, this is due to narceina being 
colored blue by iodine. Solid narceina, like starch, becomes 
blue by free iodine. Winkler and Pelletier have already ob- 
served this reaction, but Winkler did not find it reliable in all 
cases. Much iodine turns narceina brown ; but if water is now 
added and the excess of iodine removed by ammonia, the blue 
color appears. An excess of ammonia, like all substances which 
dissolve narceina, prevent the reaction. In solutions the alka- 
loid is recognized by adding potassio-iodide of zinc with a drop 
of solution of iodine, and agitating with ether. In this way 1 
narceina in 2500 water may still be recognized. No other opium 
alkaloid has a similar behaviour. — Zeitschr.f, Chemie, 1869, from 
Journ. f. prakt, Qhem.^ cvi, 310. 

By F. Schneider. 

The pharmacopoeias and text books direct to collect these 
leaves of the flowering plant. I had the leaves annually col- 
lected in the black forest during the latter part of May or begin- 
ning of June, requiring always some flowering stems. In ap- 
pearance I had a beautiful drug, but rarely could I get a satis- 
factory reaction by tannin and ferrocyanide of potassium in the 
infusion. In 1869 a botanical friend, formerly apothecary, 
offered to supply digitalis, which he collected near the end of 
August and beginning of September, as he had done during his 
long pharmaceutical practice, from the rosulate leaves of plants, 
flowering the following year. The digitalis yielded a deeply 
colored infusion of strong odor and taste, and gave with tannin at 
once a dense precipitate, with ferrocyanide of potassium after 12 
to 15 minutes a strong turbidity. The leaves should, therefore, 
be collected not in the flowering season, but late in summer. — 
Pharm. Centr. Halle, 1869, No. 49, from Scliweiz. Wochenschr, 
/. PA. 




By Klever. 

The author found that 100 parts glycerin dissolve the annexed 
quantities of the following chemicals : 

Acid, arseniosum, 


lVrnvt">n nfpfna 


" arsenicum, 


JJ-i Lit ICtO, 


" benzoicum, 






Plmnhi apptas 

JL 1 LAlAl M X Ct 1/ CI O ^ 


" oxalicum, 



" tannicum, 


^' chloras. 


Alum en, 


Potassii bromid., 


Ammon. carb., 


" cyanid.. 


" murias, 


" iodid., 


Antimonii et Potass, tart, 5-50 





Quinioe tannas, 


Atrop. sulph., 


Sodge arsenias. 


Barii chlorid.. 


" bicarbon.. 




" boras. 


Calcii sulphid.. 


" carbonas, 




" chloras, 


Cinch, sulph.. 




Cupri acetas, 




" sulph., 


Strychn. nitras. 


Ferri et Potass, tart., 


" sulphas. 


" lactas, 




" sulphas. 




Hydrarg. chlor. corr., 


Zinci chlorid., 


" cyanid., 


" iodid., 








— JSfeues Jahrh.f. Fharm., 1869, Mai and Juni, 315, from 

PJiarm. Zeitsch. f. Russl. 

By E, a. Schmidt. 

The January number of Archiv der Pharmacie, contains upon 
pages 1 to 49, an extract from the author's prize essay in an- 

* Abridged by Prof. Maisch for the American Journal of Pharmacy. 



swer to the query for 1869 of the Hagen-Bucholz'sche Stiftung. 
The author has used for his experiments, 1st, 10 pounds fresh 
cubebs, scarcely one year old ; 2d, 6 pounds four to five years 
old ; 3d, 10 pounds so-called cubeb stems, that is the rachis with 
which commercial cubebs are always mixed ; 4th, about 1 pound 
of the sediment, which occurs in ethereal extract (oleoresin) of 

4500 grm. of the powdered fresh cubebs, containing 4-75 hy- 
groscopic water (ascertained by drying for twenty-eight days 
over oil of vitriol,) were distilled with water previously distilled 
and absolutely free from ammonia ; after nine distillations (30 
pounds distillate each), volatile oil ceased to come over ; 14-0 per 
cent, of oil were obtained, which was found to be soluble in 12820 
parts water. The decoction contained mucilage (precipitable by 
baryta) albumen, starch (estimated from the dextrin and sugar 
formed by boiling with acids), a little resin (brown, bitter, identi- 
cal with the resin obtained by alcohol), brown coloring matter 
(precipitated by hydrated alumina), red brown extractive and 
salts ; sugar was not present. 

The cubebs, exhausted by boiling water, were dried and treated 
with 92 per cent, alcohol ; the alcoholic extract was washed with 
water and separated on standing into a dark green oily liquid, 
and a more solid red brown resinous mass, from which by dis- 
tillation with water 9*27 grm. volatile oil of a yellowish green 
color was obtained. The green fixed oil was separated from the 
resin by repeated solution in hot diluted alcohol ; the resin was 
dissolved in diluted potassa solution, which left cubebin, obtaina- 
ble in crystals by the spontaneous evaporation of its alcoholic 
solution. The resin was precipitated from its alkaline solution 
by muriatic acid, the precipitate digested with ammonia, the 
solution precipitated by chloride of calcium, and this precipitate 
decomposed by muriatic acid, yields the acid resin (Bernatzik's 
cubebic acid). The ammoniacal mother liquid, on being neutral- 
ized, yielded a neutral resin, identical with that left undissolved 
by the ammonia. 

The exhausted cubebs were dried and treated with ether, 
which took up -511 per cent, green yellow fat. The cubebs now 
yielded nothing to petroleum ether, bisulphide of carbon, benzine 




and chloroform, but potassa solution dissolved some more albu- 
men. Dilute muriatic acid now took up from the exhausted cu- 
bebs, besides traces of iron and sulphate of potassa, the following 
salts in quantities calculated for the 4500 grm. cubebs origi- 
nally used : 1*6629 grm. phosphate of lime, 18460 grm. oxalate 
of lime, 0-880 grm. malate of lime and 21*648 grm. malate of 

450 grm. exhausted cubebs, previously to being treated with 
muriatic acid, were incinerated and yielded 15*10 grm. ashes 
containing silicic, sulphuric, phosphoric and carbonic acids, chlo- 
rine, lime, magnesia, iron, sand and some charcoal. 

2500 grm. of old cubebs and 4500 grm. cubeb stems were 
treated in the same manner. The following table gives the re- 
sults compared with those published by Bernatzik for cubebs. 




B.'s analysis. 

Yolatile oil, 





' Coloring matter, 

















^ Starch, 




Fixed oil, 










Acid resin, 





Neutral resin, 





Green yellow fat, 




Phosph. lime, 





Oxalate lime, 





Malate lime, 





Malate magnes., 





Hygroscopic water 

, 4-750 




Cellulose, &c.; 








3 097 






Matter soluble in water 




8 100 

The volatile oil of fresh cubebs consists of two oils, approxi- 
mately 8*12 parts of spec. grav. 915, and 6*095 parts of sp. 
gr. 937. Old cubebs contain 7*6 pr. ct. volatile oil, sp. gr. 92 9 
(none of 915), and 5*44 pr. ct. sp. gr. 937. Commercial oil of 
cubebs was found to be 929. The volatile oil of cubeb stems 



was partly of 935, but mainly of 937 spec. grav. The compo- 
sition of all these oils is C30H24 ; their compound with HCl crys- 
tallizes in fine, inodorous and tasteless needles, which are 


Cubeb-camplior = C3oH2e02 was obtained only from the vola- 
tile oil of old cubebs, in which it appears to have been formed 
from the light oil. 

The extractive contains some malate and acetate of potassa, 
small quantities of chloride of potassium* and sulphate of po- 
tassa, with traces of tannin. The extractive of cubeb stems is 
free from acetates, contains little malate, but is richer in chloride 
of potassium. 

Cubebin is neither a glucoside nor a base ; it appears to be 
more of a resinous nature and becomes amorphous under the in- 
fluence of various chemical agents. H0,S03 colors it cherry red. 
From his analysis the author deduced the formula Og5H3^02Q (the 
figures also agree well with Heldt's formula CgoHgoOig.) 

The neutral resin of Bernatzik is partly cubebin, rendered 
amorphous by potassa. The author's neutral resin is yellowish 
brown, friable, soluble in alcohol and caustic alkalies, little in 
ether, bisulphide of carbon and chloroform, assumes a carmine 
color by HOySOg. Composition C2gHi40io (the figures also agree 
well with C60H34O22 = cubebin + 4 HO.) 

The acid resin (cubebic acid) cannot be obtained by Bernat- 
zik's process. The alcoholic solution of the mixed resins yields 
with alcoholic acetate of lead a precipitate of cubebate of lead, 
the neutral resin being not precipitated. Cubebic acid is colored 
carmine to cherry red by HOjSOg. It is white amorphous, and 
yields amorphous salts ; it is soluble in alcohol, ether, bisulphide 
of carbon, petroleum ether, chloroform, ammonia. Its formula 
in combination is C26H12O12 combined with two equiv. base. 

The deposit from the ethereal extract (oleoresin) of cubebs 

* Whea the alcohol is distilled from the tincture of cubebs, and the 
extract is taken up with ether, numerous crystals are found in the residue. 
I have repeatedly obtained these crystals, which are chloride of potas- 
sium, but no other analysis of cubebs with which I am acquainted men- 
tions that salt. J. M. Maisch. 




consists mainly of crystallized cubebin, surrounded by thickened 
oil, some fat and neutral resin, scarcely any cubebic acid. 

The author has made some physiological experiments upon 
himself with the different principles isolated by him. The vola- 
tile oil in doses of ten drops every two hours produced sensation 
of heat in the stomach, which diffused over the whole body, head- 
ache, loss of appetite, difficulty in swallowing, vomiting, colic, 
diarrhoea, painful urinating, sleeplessness. 

The extractive (10-2 grm. in 48 hours) and cubebin (0-2 to 1*0 
grm. six times daily) were without any influence. 

The neutral resin produced sensation of warmth in the stomach, 
little headache and colicy pains, but a considerable diuresis free 
from pain ; the acid resin had similar effects, but appeared to be 
more powerfully diuretic. The appetite was decreased, and 
eructations frequent ; stool and sleep normal. 

Some therapeutical experiments were made by a friend of the 
author's in a military hospital. 

Two cases of recent infection were treated for eight days with 
eight drops of oil of cubebs four times daily ; physiological ef- 
fects as described before. No effect on the disease ; simple in- 
jections produced cures in a few days. 

One case, having been treated for three days with injections, 
was now given the extractive, one grm. four times daily for eight 
days ; symptoms of disease rather aggravated. 

Two recent cases took 0*5 grm. cubebin ten times daily ; dose 
increased on the third day to one grm., on sixth day to two grm. 
After eight days no effect upon the organism or the disease. 

The resins were given in pills each containing 0*05 grm. Two 
cases took five times daily five pills, on the second day eight 
pills, each succeeding day two more (5 times 20 pills on the 8th 
to the 11th day.) The diuretic effect was apparent on the third 
day ; sense of warmth in the stomach commenced and increased, 
also burning sensation on urinating. External treatment was 
then resorted to, and both cases discharged as cured after five 
and seven days. 

The acid resin was given in the same dose and with the same 
diuretic effect, which was less apparent in a chronic case. 

Of the constituents of cubebs, therefore, the two resins only 


possess medicinal properties, which are simply diuretic. A 
preparation which would represent these properties might be 
made by separating the volatile oil by distillation, drying the 
cubebs, and preparing with alcohol a resinous extract. 

By George McDonald. 

Cairo, III, April Uth, 1870. 
Editor Journal of Pharmacy, Philadelphia : 

The preparation of a lead and sulphur dye for the hair, in 
which the ingredients would be in a state of perfect solution, has 
long been as great a puzzle to druggists and other interested 
parties, as the ^'quadrature of the circle" to mathematicians, or 
"perpetual motion" to dabblers in mechanics. But, unlike 
these, the problem under consideration is really (although, per- 
haps, unfortunately,) capable of solution. 

Some years ago, when lead and sulphur hair dyes were more^ 
in demand than they are at the present time, the confident as- 
sertion of those who were supposed to know, that such a prepa- 
tion free from sulphur sediment was a chemical absurdity 5. 
prompted me to experiment with the view of ascertaining whether 
this were indeed true. 

The well-known fact that a soluble compound of lead aR# sul- 
phur could not be obtained by the decomposition of a soluble 
lead salt by a soluble sulphuret, or, in other words, the insolu- 
bility of the sulphuret of lead, was regarded as an undubitable 
proof of the folly of such an undertaking. But chemistry is at 
the present day so rich in resources that it is hardly safe to as- 
sert that any chemical problem is impossible. 

There is a class of salts known as the hyposulphites, many of 
which are freely soluble in water, and which are readily con- 
verted by absorption of oxygen into sulphate of the base and 
free sulphur. It is in the use of these salts that the key to the 
enigma lies. 

We learn from chemical text-books that hyposulphite of lead 
is insoluble in water, and if we were to rest satisfied with what 
knowledge we can obtain of its chemical behaviour from them, we 



would be as far from tlie solution of our problem as we were at 
the commencement. That hyposulphite of lead is insoluble in 
water is true, but like many other precipitates insoluble in water, 
it is readily dissolved by an excess of the precipitant. 

Thus, if you add to a solution of th^ee parts of acetate of 
lead a solution of two parts of hyposulphite of soda, you will 
have a white curdy precipitate of hyposulphite of lead insoluble 
in water ; but if to this you add ten additional parts of hy- 
posulphite of soda the precipitate will be redissolved, and a per- 
fectly clear solution will be the result. This solution, when ap- 
plied to the hair, is decomposed by absorption of oxygen from 
the atmosphere. One of the results of this decomposition is 
the formation of the dark-brown sulphuret of lead. It is to the 
formation of this compound in the hair that all lead and sulphur 
dyes owe their efficacy. 

To those whose consciences will permit them to recommend 
such preparations to their customers, I submit the following for- 
mula : 

R. Acetate of Lead, gij ; 

Hyposulphite of Soda, ; 
Kose (or other perfumed) Water, ^xiv ; 
Glycerin, fgij. 
Dissolve the acetate of lead and hyposulphite of soda in separate 
portions of the perfumed water, filter separately, mix the solu- 
tions and add the glycerin. 

In a short time after it is made, the solution will become 
slightly torbid. This may arise either from a small quantity of 
air which is contained in the liquid, or (perhaps) from the pres- 
ence of a small amount of oxalic acid with which glycerin is said 
to be sometimes contaminated. It, however, soon becomes clear 
by deposition of a minute quantity of dark powder (sulphuret of 
lead) and remains so, so long as the bottle is kept tightly corked, 
I think it is quite as harmless as the ordinary lead and sulphur 
dyes, but this is, at the best, only a left-handed recommendation. 

If it is desired to make a two-bottle preparation, like one now 
on the market, (limpid, fragrant and perfectly innocuous (?),) as 
the advertisements set forth, all that is required is to put the 
solution of hyposulphite of soda in one bottle and the solu- 


tion of acetate in the other. In this case, however, it will 
not be necessary to use so large a proportion of hyposulphite of 
soda, as the two preparations of the article alluded to curdle on 
mixing. The proper proportions would perhaps be those of their 
chemical equivalents, i. e., about three parts of acetate of lead to 
two parts of hyposulphite of soda. 

The addition of glycerin to preparations of this kind serves a 
double purpose. It performs the part of a dressing to the hair, 
and by reason of its not being absorbed holds the salts in solu- 
tion, and thus favors the play of chemical affinities. 

By J. B. Moore. 

The formula of the present Pharmacopoeia for the preparation 
of syrupus senegse, although an improvement on that of the 
edition of 1850, yet by no means affords a satisfactory preparation. 
Its defects and the objections to it are so familiar to every phar- 
macist that it is unnecessary to recount them here. The pur- 
pose of this paper is to offer a formula and process for the manu- 
facture of this syrup, which, if properly managed, will never fail 
to yield an excellent preparation void of all the objectionable 
features of the officinal. 

Take of Pulv. Seneka, No. 30, four troy-ounces ; 

Glycerin, four fluid- ounces; 

White Sugar, in coarse powder, four troy-ounces ; 

Diluted Alcohol, quantity sufficient. 
Moisten the seneka with two fluid-ounces of diluted alcohol, and 
after it has stood in a close vessel six hours, pack it, in small 
portions at a time, very tightly in a glass funnel prepared for 
percolation, then gradually pour upon it diluted alcohol until one 
and a half pints of tincture are obtained, or until the drug is ex- 
hausted. Evaporate the tincture by means of a water-bath, at a 
temperature not exceeding 140°, almost constantly stirring, until 
reduced to six fluid-ounces. When cool, filter through paper, 
and add sufficient water through the filter to make the filtered 
product measure six fluid-ounces. To this, transferred to a 
bottle, add the sugar and agitate it frequently during twenty- 
four hours. By this time the sugar will be nearly all dissolved, 


and its solution may be completed in a few minutes, by placing 
the bottle in hot water and shaking occasionally. Lastly, add 
the glycerin, mix well and strain through muslin. 

When the demand for the syrup is urgent, the sugar may be 
dissolved in the filtered liquid at once, by means of a moderate 
heat in an open vessel, in the usual way of forming syrup, ob- 
serving to supply the loss sustained by evaporation, by adding 
sufficient water through the strainer to make the finished pro- 
duct, when cold^ measure one pint. 

Particular attention must be paid to the packing of the powder 
in the percolator to insure a perfect result, as this is one of the 
most important steps of the process. Its performance requires 
the exercise of but little judgment as to degree of compression) 
as it can scarcely be packed too firmly. It is best packed in 
small portions at a time, in strata of not more than a quarter or 
half inch in thickness, and should be compressed so firmly that 
the tincture, when it begins to flow, will not pass at a faster rate 
than from ten to fifteen drops per minute, which will increase as 
the exhaustion advances. 

I have tried prolonging the preliminary maceration to twenty- 
four and even thirty-six hours, and after frequent trials could 
perceive but little if any difference in the result. Six hours give 
ample time for the powder to expand and its fibres to become 
thoroughly permeated and softened by the menstrum, which 
seems to be all that is requisite for the complete exhaustion of 
its medicinal properties. 

If the process is managed with any degree of care and skill 
the exhaustion of the drug will generally be found complete by 
the time a pint and a half of tincture have passed. But in order 
to guard against inexperience and unskillful management, I 
have given the precautionary direction to continue the percola- 
tion " until the drug is exhausted." 

Notwithstanding my strong predilections and conviction in 
favor of a finer grade of powders than are generally recommended 
for percolation, I have varied that preference in this instance, 
and have selected for the preparation of this syrup a much 
coarser powder than is directed in the U. S. P. for the same 
preparation. My reason for doing this is to avoid, in a measure, 


extracting the large quantity of pectin and other objectionable 
inert principles which are taken up when a No, 50 is used. And 
in order to compensate for this increased coarseness of the pow- 
der, I have directed a short preliminary maceration and very close 
packing of the powder and consequently slow percolation, which 
ensures the thorough exhaustion of the drug. 

In percolating seneka in moderately fine powder (No. 50,) in 
making this syrup, even with a menstruum consisting of two parts 
of alcohol and one part of water, I have upon several occasions 
found the concentrated tincture, when cool, to become of jelly- 
like consistence, almost solid, rendering filtration utterly impos- 
sible. But when a No. 30 powder is employed all that difiiculty 
is avoided, the tincture is quickly filtered, all the usual impedi- 
ments attending the manufacture of the syrup are removed, and 
the process becomes simple and easy of execution. 

The syrup as made in accordance with the above formula is of 
reddish brown color, perfectly transparent, permanent and de- 
posits but little if any upon standing. A sample of it made last 
summer is now in excellent condition, with no deposit, and as 
transparent as when freshly made. Another sample, made about 
four months ago, in which the sugar was dissolved by means of 
heat, is also in good condition with the exception that it contains 
a slight gelatinous deposit, which a strong heat serves to have 
the tendency to produce after the syrup has stood for some time. 

The directions given in the above formula are such that, if 
strictly carried out, will not only prevent the result just men- 
tioned, but will also shield the medicinal properties of the seneka 
from the injurious influence which a high degree of heat undoubt- 
edly exerts upon them, and which should always be averted, when 
practicable, in all the preparations of this drug. 

Fhilada., April, 1870. 


By H. C. Archibald. 

Of late years the demand for granular prepared citrate of 
magnesia, manufactured by the firm of Charles Ellis, Son & Co., 
of this city, has increased to such an extent as to make it now 


quite an article of merchandise, and that, without its being ad- 
vertised or in any way pushed into the market, the makers rely- 
ing solely upon its intrinsic value to recommend itself to the 
notice of intelligent and practical physicians and pharmaceutists. 

The attention of the writer, who is an employee of the above 
firm, was first called to the English article of granular citrate of 
magnesia, so-called, in the spring of 1867, and a few experi- 
ments demonstrated the fact that its component parts consisted 
principally of tartaric acid, bicarbonate of soda, sugar and a 
trace of magnesia. 

To obtain a preparation that could be properly called granular 
citrate of magnesia, and having at the same time effervescing 
properties by the direct union of citric acid and magnesia, was 
found, by the writer, to be impracticable, and the idea was 

After a series of experiments to ascertain whether a granular 
salt could be made, which would contain citrate of magnesia and 
at the same time be effervescent and perfectly soluble, the fol- 
lowing formula was adopted, which, if it be strictly adhered to, 
will afford a beautiful salt, possessing decided laxative proper- 
ties, and very acceptable to the palate : 

Take of Acid Citric, Powdered, . . 4 lbs. 
Magnesia Calc. (Jenning's) . . IJ " 
Soda Bicarb (Chance's) . . 3 " 

Acid Tart 3 " 

Pulv. Sach. Alb 6 " 

01. Lemons . . . . . J fl. oz. 
Alcohol fort. q. s. 
To the powdered citric acid add the sugar, and mix thoroughly ; 
then add the soda, magnesia, and acid tartaric, pass the whole 
through a No. 40 sieve three times, to insure its being thoroughly 
mixed, moisten the powder with stronger alcohol, and pass 
through a No. 8 sieve, and place on a tray made of wood in a 
warm room to dry ; then add the oil of lemon and bottle in- 
stantly. It usually takes twenty-four hours and a temperature 
of 120° to perfectly dry the salt. 

The advantage that a reliable preparation of this kind pos- 
sesses is evident ; it being of known strength, uniform in its 


actions, and can be kept indefinitely without injury ; it is freely 
soluble, dissolving almost instantly on being thrown into water, 
and forming a perfectly clear solution without residue ; it has 
also a pleasant acid taste, and has proven to be a valuable agent 
in the sick room. 

This preparation, like almost all other things, requires skillful 
manipulating to insure good results. The writer has made sev- 
eral thousand pounds of this salt, and has invariably found that 
whenever the directions were implicitly carried out, satisfactory 
products were the results. 

The Granular Salts of Kissingen, Vichy, and Saratoga, are 
also made by the above firm, of which the writer, in a future 
number, proposes to offer a few ideas as to their mode of manu- 

By Dr. F. A. Fluckiger. 

From the interesting essay of the author, published in the 
Archiv der Pharmacie, 1870, March, 196-215, we make the 
following extracts: 

In 1857 Schrofi''s physiological experiments proved the exist- 
ence in aconite tubers of two principles, one mainly narcotic in 
its action, and agreeing in this respect with the aconitia in use 
on the continent of Europe, and particularly in Germany, which 
has mainly been made by the late F. Hiibschmann, of Zurich ; 
the other one being extremely acrid, a property possessed also 
by ''pure aconitia," obtained by Schroff from T. Morson & Son 
in London, and by pharmaceutical preparations made from bikh, 
bish, or ativisha, that is the tubers of some species of aconitum, 
among them aconitum ferox, indigenous to the Alpine regions 
of the Himalaya mountains. Since that time it was supposed, 
in Germany, that all English aconitia consists of this acrid alka- 
loid, for which Hiibschmann proposed the name of pseudaconitia 
(Schweiz : Wochenschr. f. Pharm. 1868, p. 189), and gave the 
following characteristics : It is with difficulty soluble in ether, 
chloroform, and alcohol, but crystallizes readily, particularly 
from hot alcohol ; it is soluble in hot benzol ; is not altered by 
boiling water, and not colored by cold sulphuric acid ; also not 



after the addition of nitric acid ; it has an alkaline reaction, and 
a burning, not bitter, taste. True aconitia, however, dissolves 
in 2 p. ether, in 2*6 p. chloroform, and in 4*2 p. alcohol, without 
separating in distinct crystals ; it is colored yellowish by cold 
sulphuric acid, has an alkaline reaction, and a bitter, scarcely 
somewhat acrid taste. 

The author confirms the statements of Hiibschmann, and adds 
that pseudaconitia loses nothing in weight at 100° C; the crys- 
tals from hot alcohol constitute thick prisms, which are not 
colored by hot concentrated phosphoric acid. True aconitia 
sustains no loss at 100° C, fuses between 110 and 120° without 
decomposition, and produces a violet color, which lasts for sev- 
eral days, with hot, concentrated phosphoric acid. 

Dr. F. obtained some aconitia from T. Morson & Son, also of 
Hopkins & Williams, in London. The former possessed a purely 
bitter, not in the least acrid taste, and gave the phosphoric acid 
reaction both before and after fusion. The aqueous solution of 
the latter was bitter and distinctly acrid, but the reaction with 
phosphoric acid was more of a brownish color. 

The author also obtained from Mr. Thomas B. Groves, of 
Weymouth, aconitia, purchased of Morson & Son in 1860 and 
in 1856 ; also samples made by Groves, marked respectively 
amorphous aconitia from Ac. napellus, crystalline aconitia from 
the nitrate, and nitrate of aconitia. The first sample gave a 
purely violet color with phosphoric acid ; 2, 3, and 4 were col- 
ored brownish, or greyish violet. 

It must be concluded from this, that the aconitia used in 
England does not differ to any great extent from that used on 
the continent. 

The London house of Roller & Widemann met, in 1868, with 
a very cheap aconitia, which was examined by Merck (Ph. Journ. 
and Transact, x. 248), who found it soluble with difiQculty in 
ether and alcohol ; it crystallized readily from the latter, and 
was not altered by boiling water. These are properties of 

The author ascertained that aconitia is made in England of 
the East Indian tubers, as well as of those from Switzerland. 


An extract which he prepared from bikh-tubers had the physio- 
logical effects of aconitia. 

HUbschmann discovered in Aconitum Lycoctonum two alka- 
loids — Ijcoctonina and acolyctina — which latter he found proba- 
bly identical with his napellina, which is uncrystallizable, insolu- 
ble in ether, and not precipitated by ammonia from its saline 
solutions. Lycoctonina, obtained from its discoverer, was found 
by Dr. F. to be in white light prisms and needles, of alkaline 
reaction, fusible and congealing to an amorphous vitreous mass, 
which, moistened with water, at once forms little bunches of 
crystals ; fusion and recrystallization occur without change of 
weight. It is readily soluble in chloroform, sulphide of carbon, 
ether, alcohol, oil of turpentine, amylic alcohol, sweet oil of 
almonds, and petroleum ether, but requires about 800 p. of 
water for solution ; no color reactions could be obtained with 
sulphuric, nitric, chromic, or concentrated phosphoric acids. 

The author sums up his results as follows : 

1. Aconitia is contained in the tubers of the blue flowering 
European species of aconitum, particularly A. napellus. 

2. Also in similar species of the himalaya mountains, partly 
called bikh ; among them is also Ac, napellus (likewise Ae. 

3. Aconitia is wanting, according to HUbschmann, in Ac. Ly- 
coctonum^ which has yellow flowers. 

4. Aconitia has the following properties : It becomes soft in 
boiling water, and imparts a violet color, lasting in the cold for 
several days, to phosphoric acid, which has been evaporated as 
far as possible in the water-bath, and has a temperature of 80 
to 100° G. The aqueous solution has a bitter taste free of acri- 
mony, is not precipitated by bichloride of platinum, but yields, 
with iodohydrargyrate of potassium, an uncrystallizable precipi- 
tate. It is very readily soluble in ether, chloroform and alcohol 
(five parts 75 per cent, alcohol at 15° C. dissolve one part.) It 
is anhydrous and fuses near 120° C. It forms a monochlor- 
hydrate ; the nitrate crystallizes well ; the free base may be in 
indistinct microscopic crystals. 

5. All aconitia from England, examined by the author, agreed 



with these tests ; that of Hopkin and Williams also had an acrid 

6. The distinctive appelation, " English Aconitia," is wrong 
(in the sense in which it has been used in Europe.) 

7. There exists a base entirely distinct from aconitia, of un- 
certain origin, but probably derived from aconite tubers (bikh) 
of Nepal and other Alpine countries of the Himalayas. 

8. This pseudaconitia was first noticed by Yon Schroff, who 
named it English or Morson's aconitia. Wiggers proposed the 
name of napellina. Fliickiger called it nepalina. Ludwig sug- 
gested acraconitia. 

9. Pseudaconitia does not soften in boiling water, is at 100° 
C. not colored by concentrated phosphoric acid, has a burning, 
not a bitter taste. It is insoluble in water, little soluble in ether, 
chloroform and alcohol, but crystallizes from these hot solutions 
readily in large prisms. 

10. Napellina is difi'erent from aconitia and pseudaconitia. 

11. Lycoctonina is likewise a well defined alkaloid, charac- 
terized by the readiness with which it crystallizes after fusion, 
on being moistened with water ; also by the behaviour of its 
aqueous solutions to bromine water and iodohydrargyrate of po- 
tassium (the precipitates on standing, crystallize readily.) 

J. M. M. 

By K. Kraut. 

To obtain Stoltze's oil of Peru balsam (Frdmy's cinnamein), two 
pounds of the balsam are mixed with the same quantity of ether, 
and agitated with two pounds of caustic soda solution, contain- 
ing three or four per cent. NaO. After the separation of the 
ethereal liquid, the treatment with ether is repeated until it ceases 
to take up oil. The alkaline solution yields principally resin, 
cinnamic and little benzoic acid. The ethereal solution, after 
the distillation and evaporation of the ether, yields nearly 60 
per cent, of oil. By fractional distillation under reduced pres- 
sure and in a current of carbonic acid, three portions are ob- 
tained : 

1. At about 200° C. very little benzalcohol, not quite pure. 



2. At about 300° C. the largest proportion consisting of 
benzylo-benzoic ether, yielded with alcoholic potassa solution, 
benzoic acid and benzalcohol. On rectifying the ether in a cur- 
rent of carbonic acid gas, a portion was obtained in crystals, 
proving the correctness of Cannizaro's observation, that under 
certain circumstances the ether will crystallize. 

3. At about the boiling point of mercury benzylo-cinnamic 
ether, yielding with alcoholic potassa solution cinnamic acid and 

Dark colored, thick residues were left in the retort, which 
might possibly contain styracin and carbobenzoic acid ; but on 
treating the oil of Peru balsam Avith alcoholic potassa solution 
only cinnamic and benzoic acids were obtained, and the crude 
benzalcohol, by fractional distillation and oxydation of the frac- 
tions with chromic acid, did not yield any products from which 
the presence of styron or styracin might be inferred. 

Peru balsam, therefore, contains free cinnamic acid, resin and 
the benzylic ethers of benzoic and cinnamic acids. The small 
quantities of free benzoic acid and benzalcohol are most probably 
due to the decomposing influence of the caustic alkali. 

Balsam Peru, may, however, like other drugs, sometimes con- 
tain benzoic or cinnamic acid in preponderance, and may even 
occasionally contain styracin. — Annalen d. Qh, und Ph., J^ov.^ 
1869, 129-137. 


In a communication to the Archiv d. Pharm. 1869, Dec, 
248, 249, E. Sobering, of Berlin, an extensive manufacturer of 
this new hypnotic and anaesthetic, makes the following state- 
ment : 

Chemically pure chloral-hydrate (CgClgOH+HgO) forms white 
acicular crystals, has a peculiar pungent odor, a somewhat bitter 
taste, produces in concentrated solution a slight irritation in the 
throat, fuses and sublimes readily, and keeps well in glass- 
stoppered bottles, even in aqueous solution. In dispensing, 
glass, porcelain, or silver utensils are to be used. 

It is readily soluble in distilled water ; only after prolonged 



contact with the atmosphere traces of hydrochloric acid are dis- 
cernible, which must be carefully neutralized by ammonia if 
the solution is to be used for subcutaneous injections. 

The dose of chloral-hydrate depends on the individuality of the 
patient and on the desired effect. For internal use Dr. 0. 
Liebreich recommends the addition of mucilago acacise or syrup- 
us aurantii ; it is important, however, to avoid the use of all 
alkaline vehicles and correctives, which decompose chloral- 

The following formulas for administering chloral-hydrate are 
taken from Dr. Liebreich's pamphlet : 

R. Hjdrat. chlorali 4-5 to 8-0 ! (YO to 
124 grs. !) 
Aq. destill. 

Syr. Aurant. aa, 15-0 (^ss.) 
M. S. One dose. (In delirium pota- 

R. Hjdrat. chlorali 2-0 (^ss.) 
Aquae destilL 150-0 (^v.) 
Syrupi Aurant. 
Mucil. Acacife aa, 15-0 (^ss.) 
M. S. A tablespoonful every hour. 

B;. Hydrat. chlorali 5-0, 

Aquae destillatae q. s. to make 10 
cubic centimetres (f^ijss.) 
M. S. 1 to 4 cc.m. (m 15 to fgi), for 
subcutaneous injections. 

Dr. Rieckher gives the following tests for pure chloral-hydrate 
(N. Jahrb. f. Ph., 1870, Jan., p. 15) : It has a peculiar odor 
and taste, is dry and colorless, dissolves clear in its own weight 
of water, fuses when heated upon platinum foil, and evaporates 
without residue and without taking fire ; the aqueous solution is 
not disturbed by nitrate of silver ; agitated with colorless con- 
centrated sulphuric acid, it becomes turbid without coloration 
even on being heated ; acidulated with sulphuric acid and faintly 
tinged with permanganate of potassa, no decolorization takes 
place in two to three hours ; nitric acid sp. gr. 1-20 is not col- 
ored, nor does it act upon it in the cold or when heated. 

Hager (Pharm. Centralhalle, 1870, 9, 10,) gives nearly the 

R. Hydratis chlorali, 2-5 (=38 grs. 
Aq. destill. 

Mucil. Acaciae, aa 15-0 (= ^ss.) 
M. S. Take at one dose. (Ordinary 

R. Hydratis chlorali 4-0 (=62 grs.) 
Aquae destill. 

Syr. aurant. «a, 15-0 (=^ss.) 
M.S. A tablespoonful at night. (Or- 
dinary hypnotic.) 

R. Hydratis chlorali 5-0, 
Aquae destill. 10 0. 

M. S. A teaspoonful in a glass of 
wine, beer or lemonade. (Hyp- 



same tests ; he has met with a chloral-hydrate (not manufactured 
in Germany,) in loose glass-like rhombic needles and of a sting- 
ing odor. It was soluble in eight parts water ; heated in a silver 
spoon ; it burned with a yellow-sooty flame ; it sank in concen- 
trated sulphuric acid (pure chloral-hydrate floats upon it), be- 
came rapidly liquid, the mixture was much clearer after shaking, 
and became brown on heating to the boiling point ; nitric acid 
of twenty-five per cent, reacted briskly with the evolution of 
brown-red vapors ; with potassa solution, sp. gr. 1-3, it separated 
upon the surface a liquid with the odor of chloroform and alde- 
hyde, from which, after agitation, chloroform collected at the 
bottom (pure chloral-hydrate at once separates chloroform and 
does not generate the odor of aldehyde). No analysis was made 
for want of material. 

No. 21 of the Pharmac. Zeitung states that the chloral-hydrate 
made by Roussin, of Paris, yielded but 61*7 per cent, chloro- 
form and on examination proved to be an alcoholate of chloral 
C^HClgOa-fCJIgOg, containing 23-7 per cent, alcohol. It is a 
semi-transparent camphor-like mass in long adhering needles, of 
a sharp ethereal odor and burning taste, not deliquescent in 
water, less soluble than chloral-hydrate. It may be obtained by 
adding 31*18 grm. absolute alcohol to 100 grm. anhydrous 
chloral. j. m. m. 

By Franz Hubner. 
If the directions of the seventh edition of the Prussian Phar- 
macopoeia are strictly followed a good bitter almond water is 
always obtained, unless the bitter almonds are adulterated with 
the sweet variety, which fraud is sometimes practised on ac- 
count of the higher price of the former. The press cakes of 
bitter almonds, from which the fixed oil has been separated, 
must be finely powdered and then mixed with seven parts, or if 
possible, more of soft water. After maceration for twelve to 
fifteen hours in a close vessel, the water is distilled off by inject- 
ing steam, until the requisite quantity is obtained,* which is 

*The press cake from 6 parts of bitter almonds, with the requisite 
quantity of water and 1 part of alcohol, yields at least 6 parts distillate, 
containing 1 part anhydrous hydrocyanic acid in 720 parts. 


usually too strong in hydrocyanic acid, and requires to be di- 
luted. The author adds only one half of the alcohol to the con- 
tents of the still, the other half going into the receiver, whereby 
a water of slight turbidity, not of a milk-like appearance, is ob- 
tained. Distillation over free fire invariably yields a weak 
water, probably in consequence of unavoidable partial overheat- 

The author has also used peach kernels, with the following 
result: 95 lbs. of the same yielded, by cold expression, 25 lbs. 
of filtered clear, faintly reddish yellow oil, resembling benneseed 
oil ; by warm pressure 8 lbs. filtered oil somewhat darker, 60 
lbs. press cakes and 2 lbs. loss including the residue upon the 
filters. The 60 lbs. press cakes, equal to about 92 lbs. kernels, 
yielded, when treated as described, 92 lbs. water, from 2 oz. 
of which 8 grains dry cyanide of silver was obtained, so that an 
addition of about 18 lbs. distilled water was requisite to reduce 
it to the strength of the Pharmacopoeia, viz. : 6f grs. AgCy 
from 960 grains of the water. The water, as thus obtained from 
peach kernels, is identical with that from bitter almonds. — Ar- 
cMv. der Pharm,, Bee, 1869, 226-229. 


By E. Delpech. 

The author, after referring to the ordinary blistering cerate 
of cantharides of the Codex, and criticising its resinous and fatty 
ingredients and its uncertainty, suggests that we should look to 
cantharidin, and says that a mixture of elastic collodion 400 
parts, and cantharidin one part, spread on adhesive plaster, 
possesses a very energetic vesicating power. 

The volatility of cantharidin, even at ordinary temperatures, 
the author alleges as a reason for seeking some means of fixing 
this principle, and having found the memoir of Messrs. Massing 
and Dragendorff in a German journal, deems the views therein 
contained afi'ord the means sought. 

These authors consider cantharidin (C^^H^O^) as an anhydride, 
which in its combinations with bases fixes two equivalents of 


water, and which makes the formula of cantharidic acid C^^H^O*, 
2H0. This acid does not exist in a free state, but is described 
as forming compounds with the metals. 

The cantharidates of potassa, soda, and ammonia are soluble 
in water, whilst the cantharidates of the common metals are in- 
soluble, and may be obtained by double decomposition. 

Cantharidic acid is considered bi-basic. Solutions of the alka- 
line cantharidates, treated with acetic acid, precipitate, not 
cantharidic acid, but its anhydride cantharidin. This form of 
cantharidin is more soluble than the ordinary, due probably to 
its pulverulent state. The author has not directed his researches 
to the constitution of this acid, nor has he examined the theory 
of Messrs. Massing and Dragendorff, which he thinks is not sup- 
ported by sufficient evidence. 

Some particles of cantharidate of potassa placed on the arm 
caused vesication in a rapid manner, without the intervention of 
a solvent. A morsel of filtering paper moistened with a cold 
watery solution of cantharidate of potassa has, after drying, 
caused a vesication perfectly defined. This paper after fifteen 
days had lost none of its energy, from which the author infers 
that it is perfectly fixed and stable. It is also as vesicant as 
cantharidin. Three blisters were prepared, and applied simulta- 
neously ; one dry, the second moistened with vinegar, and the 
third with water. The first took seven hours, the other two five. 

Cantharidates are prepared by the direct action of the alkali 
on cantharidin in the presence of water, and by the aid of heat. 
The solution is evaporated and crystallized. It presents the form 
of fine scales. The ammonia salt loses its base at 212° F. ; it is 
acid to litmus. The cantharidate of potassa, on the contrary, is 
very stable, and has an alkaline reaction with litmus. The soda 
salt has the same characters. 

The author has found another process for the preparation of 
the potassa salt. Two grammes of cantharidin are dissolved in 
150 grammes of alcohol. Then add 1-6 gramme of caustic po- 
tassa dissolved in a very little water, and mix them, when the 
whole becomes a soft crystalline mass, from which the alcohol is 
separated by pressure. 



The composition of the potassa salt is, 

Cm'0\ KO HO + HO. 
98 parts of cantharidin gives 163 parts of cantharidate of po- 
tassa. Boiling water dissolves 8-87 per cent. ; cold water 4-13 ; 
boiling alcohol 0*92 ; cold alcohol 0*03 per cent. It is also in- 
soluble in ether and chloroform. 

The author proposes the following formula for a blistering 
tissue, after numerous experiments : 

Take of Gelatin, 30 grains, 

Water, 150 " 

Alcohol, 150 " 

Cantharidate of Potassa, 6 " 

Glycerin, a sufficient quantity. 
This liquid is spread uniformly with a brush on gutta percba 
in thin sheets, so that each square of four inches will contain one 
centigramme (about one-seventh of a grain) of the cantharidate 
of potassa. The strength may be varied at will. — Jour, de Chim. 
Med. lilars, 1870. 

By Dr. Sace (of Switzerland.) 
(Translated from the German by Chas. Caspari, Jr.) 

The author states that, having observed a great analogy be- 
tween these substances, he was induced to test their chemical 
reactions, in order to ascertain something more definite about 
them. The following substances were used by him, in fine pow- 
der, in his experiments, viz. : Gum copal, amber, dammar, 
shellac, elemi, sandrach, mastiche and rosin. The solvents, 
given below, were used in the quantity of thrice the bulk of 
gum, and allowed to act upon the same for 24 hours, at a tem- 
perature of 59—72° Fahr. 

In boiling water resin changes to a semiliquid mass ; dammar, 
shellac, elemi and mastiche cake, and copal, amber and sandrach 
are not affected at all. In alcohol, dammar and amber are in- 
soluble; copal cakes; elemi is with difficulty soluble; rosin, shel- 
lac, sandrach and mastiche dissolve very readily. In ether, amber 
and shellac are insoluble ; copal swells ; rosin, elemi, sandrach 
and mastiche dissolve readily. 



In acetic acid rosin swells ; the others are not changed. In 
solution of caustic soda shellac dissolves readily and rosin with 
difficulty ; the others are not affected by it. In bisulphide of 
carbon, amber and shellac are insoluble ; copal swells ; elemi, 
sandrach and mastiche dissolve very slowly, but damraar and 
rosin readily. 

Oil of turpentine dissolves neither amber nor shellac, but 
dammar, rosin, elemi and sandrach ; mastiche is dissolved very 

Boiling linseed oil affects neither copal nor amber ; dissolves 
shellac, elemi and sandrach with difficulty, but readily dammar, 
rosin and mastiche. 

Benzole does not dissolve copal, amber and shellac ; elemi 
and sandrach only with difficulty, but dammar, resin and mas- 
tiche readily. 

Coal naptha affects neither copal, amber nor shellac ; is a poor 
solvent for rosin, elemi and sandrach, but a ready one for dammar 
and mastiche. 

Concentrated sulphuric acid dissolves all of the substances and 
colors them at the same time dark brown, with the exception of 
dammar, which assumes a bright red color. 

Nitric acid imparts a dull yellow color to elemi, light brown 
to mastiche and sandrach, but scarcely affects the others. 

Solution of ammonia does not affect amber, shellac, dammar 
and elemi ; copal, sandrach and mastiche swell at first and then 
dissolve ; resin dissolves very readily. 

By means of these reactions it will be no great difficulty to 
test the purity of these substances in commerce. — {Polyteelinisches 
Notizhlatt, 1869, xxiv, S. 310.) 

(Translated from the Germaa by Chas. Caspari, Jr.) 
When metallic zinc is placed into an aqueous solution of sul- 
phurous acid it gradually disappears, without the liberation of 
any gas ; tlie result being the formation of sulphite and hypo- 
sulphite of zinc. Prof. Schoenbein at first called attention to 
the fact that the solution, during the reaction, temporarily as- 
sumes a bright yellow color, and has the power of decolorising 
indigo, which latter he considered due to an oxidising property 



of the liquid, and accounted for it by a temporary formation of 

Recently, Schutzenberger investigated the matter more tho- 
roughly, and July 19th, 1869, reported the result of his re- 
searches, contradicting Schoenbein's theory, to the Paris 
Academy of Science. He found that this discoloration of in- 
digo is by no means due to an oxydation, it being well known 
that indigo is also discolored and changed to white indigo by 
powerful reducing agents, regaining its blue color upon exposure 
to the oxygen of the atmosphere. As indigo, discolored by the 
above solution, will also regain its blue color upon exposure to 
air, it is evident that the discoloration is due to a reduction of 
the indigo, and this effect, together with the yellow tint in the 
solution, must be owing to the presence of a powerful reducing 
compound. Its affinity for oxygen is so great that the zinc fil- 
ings, still moist with the solution, upon exposure to air will be- 
come heated to a temperature of 55 — 60° Cent. ; hence its power 
of reducing must be very great and similar to that of nascent 
hydrogen. Salts of copper, silver, mercury and lead are readily 
reduced by it to the metallic state, and bichromate of potassa 
to oxide of chrome ; the salt of copper deposits, besides the me- 
tallic copper, also its combination with hydrogen (cuprous hy- 

After many attempts, Schutzenberger at last succeeded in 
isolating this new body and examined it more definitely ; he 
found it to be an acid, very unstable in its uncombined state, 
and succeeded in isolating it only by using an alkaline sulphite 
in place of free sulphurous acid, by which means he obtained 
the corresponding salt of the new acid. By allowing zinc to act 
upon a concentrated solution of bisulphite of soda, he obtained 
the soda salt of the new acid, possessing the same affinity for 
oxygen as the free acid, and which can only be kept out of con- 
tact with air ; the acid is monobasic and its formula is HSgOg. 
The radical of the acid contains besides oxygen also hydrogen, 
and this accounts for its great deoxidising property ; it gives up 
the hydrogen of its radical, thus liberating nascent hydrogen. 
S. names this acid hydrosulphurous acid (acide hydrosulfureux), 
it being derived from hydrogen and sulphurous acid. — (Poly- 
^echnisches Notizblatt, 1869, xxiv, S. 365.) 



By Nathaniel Smith. 

This liniment owes its place in the British Pharmacopoeia to 
Dr. Rumsey, of Cheltenham, a member of the Medical Council ; 
the formula was supplied to him from the ' Form-book ' of the 
business with which I am connected. 

The liniment has been in use in Cheltenham for more than 
twenty years, and during that period has been adopted by the 
medical profession in this locality as a preparation in every way 
more desirable and efficacious than the Unguent. Potass. lodid. 

The formula was copied from a Pharmaceutical Journal of 
some twenty-five or thirty years ago with a German origin ; it 
was then prescribed with a large quantity of spirit. As soap 
with spirit of wine in a solid form does not admit of being 
rubbed in so easily as soap with water, the water process was 

The directions of the Pharmacopoeia are not sufficiently clear; 
for instance, no soap made with vegetable oil could answer well ; 
if pure curd soap, which is made with Russian tallow, were used 
in the proportion I propose naming, and the directions for mix- 
ing followed, I think all who now condemn the preparation 
would extend to it a verdict exactly the reverse. I recommend, 
*White curd soap . . . . 2 oz. 

lodid. Potass. . . . . . IJ oz. 

Glycerin ...... 1 oz. 

Distilled water . . . . . 10 oz. 

Essential oil of lemon . . . 1 dr. 
Reduce the soap into fine shreds, and melt in a water-bath with 
the whole of the water and the glycerin ; when the soap is per- 
fectly .dissolved, pour it into a No. 9 Wedgwood mortar, in which 
the iodide of potassium has been previously reduced to fine 
powder ; mix briskly, and continue the trituration until the mor- 
tar has become cool, and the liniment assumes the character of 
ice cream. Set aside for an hour, after which gently rub in the 
oil of lemons. 

* For this use the white curd soap made by Messrs. Gibbs, of the City 
Soap Works, or Benbow's curd soap. 


It will be noticed the quantity of soap in this form is larger 
than in that of the Pharmacopoeia. At Dr. Rumsey's sugges- 
tion, and while the B. P. was in process of construction, the 
glycerin was added ; it was subsequently found necessary to in- 
crease the soap, and hence the 12 drams were increased by 4 

I purpose sending to Bloomsbury Square a specimen of the 
liniment made from the above directions. — Fliarm. Journ., Lond. 
March, 1870. 

Cheltenham, February ISth, 1870. 


M. Lefort has been making experiments upon the employment 
of bisulphide of carbon in the preparation of what he calls 
^' sulpho-carbonic extracts " of medicinal plants. Since moist- 
ure opposes a certain obstacle to the solvent action of the sul- 
phide of carbon, he first dries the powdered vegetables at a 
temperature of about 50° to 60° C. He then exhausts the dry 
powder by maceration with several quantities of the sulphide 
successively applied, decanting and filtering the solution obtained. 
The exhausted vegetable powder retains about half its volume 
of the liquid, which can be recovered by distillation. The tinc- 
ture obtained is distilled by means of a water-bath, the residue 
being freed from the last traces of sulphide of carbon by heating 
gently in the open air. When this has been entirely expelled, 
the odor peculiar to the plant is distinctly apparent. 100 grams 
of dry powdered leaves of digitalis, belladonna, henbane, stra- 
monium, aconite, and conium have given quantities very nearly 
approaching to 3 grams in each case ; but, if we consider that 
the plants lose during desiccation three-fourths of their weight, 
we may conclude that the fresh leaves contain no more than 75 
per cent, of principles soluble in bisulphide of carbon. 

In all these extracts four chief constituents have been found : 

1. A fatty matter, apparently identical in the several cases. 

2. Chlorophylle. 3. An odorous principle differing with each 
vegetable. 4. One or more organic bases in the condition of 
the salts contained naturally in the plants. The presence of 



the alkaloids can be rendered evident bj their action upon ani- 
mals and by various reagents, such as iodhydrargyrate of potash 
or tannin. The purpose for which the author designs these ex- 
tracts is the manufacture of medicated oils, a class of prepara- 
tions scarcely ever used in this country ; but his memoir is 
interesting, as illustrating the applications to which this most 
valuable solvent, bisulphide of carbon, is capable of being 
adapted. These " sulpho-carbonic extracts" would be worth 
trying in the preparation, for instance, of certain of the plasters, 
since they are all easily miscible with fatty matters. Bisulphide 
of carbon might be employed with advantage to replace ether in 
certain cases, as well as in such an instance as the following, 
given by M. Lefort : Camomile flowers contain two odorous prin- 
ciples, the one volatile, the other fixed, but which are both very 
soluble in bisulphide of carbon. An extract of the flowers can 
easily be made by first bruising them in a mortar, without dry- 
ing, and then exhausting as in the other cases. 5 per cent, of 
semisolid extract is obtained, which unites all the properties of 
the camomiles. 

M. Lefort employs maceration ; probably in many cases per- 
colation would be found to answer better. — Pharm. Journ.^ Lon- 
don, April, 1870. 

To the Editor of the Pharmaceutical Journal : 

Sir — The following is worthy of mention in your Journal as 
an admirable recipe for a preparation that is somewhat exten- 
sively vended in several parts of the country under the alluring 
title of ''Cod-liver Cream." 

A quarter of an ounce of elect gum tragacanth, steeped in 
sixteen ounces of cold water for twenty-four hours — during 
which time it should be stirred occasionally — yields a fine, gela- 
tinous mucilage, which, when mixed in any proportion with Cod- 
liver Oil and simply shaken with it, permanently difi'uses the oil 
into particles, which in vain struggle for reunion. 

It is usual to mix the mucilage and oil in equal parts, and it 
is further only required to sweeten, and add, as a preservative 



and savorer, to each ounce of the mixture one drachm of spirit 
of wine, to which has been added a drop of essence of lemon, 
the same quantity of essence of almonds, and a trifle of oil of 

Thus is the melange completed, and of so agreeable a flavor is 
the result, that to most palates it would be found to acquit itself 
creditably in comparison with an average custard. 


— Pliarm. Journ., London, April, 1870. 


Dr. Liebreich, the discoverer of the therapeutic action of 
chloral, has been seeking, and announces that he has found the 
antidote to this powerful agent. 

He first of all established the fact that chloral diminishes the 
eff'ects of strychnine, provided it is given very promptly after 
the exhibition of the poisonous alkaloid. 

A much more important result has been obtained in another 
series of experiments which Dr. Liebreich made subsequently to 
this, and which had for its object to demonstrate the efi*ect of 
strychnine upon animals poisoned by fatal doses of chloral. The 
following is an apparently conclusive experiment: 

Two rabbits received each 2 grams (about 30 grains) of chloral. 
After half an hour both were in a condition of profound nar- 
cotic sleep; the muscular relaxation was such that they appeared 
as if dead, the respiration being feeble and slow. A milligram 
and a half (less than one fortieth of a grain) of nitrate of 
strychnia was injected into one of them. In ten minutes after 
this operation the respiration began to resume its activity, the 
animal moved when irritated, but there were no convulsions ; 
the muscles recovered their tonicity ; when the feet of the ani- 
mal were drawn out he drew them in again. Two hours after- 
wards the rabbit was sitting up, and four hours after the injection 
he was completely restored to his usual condition. The other 
rabbit, on the contrary, which had not received any strychnine, 
was dead two hours and a half after the administration of the 

A third rabbit, to which no chloral had been given, but only 



IJ milligram of nitrate of strychnine, died ten minutes after in 
violent tetanic convulsions. Nothing similar was manifested 
after the injection of the strychnine into the rabbit which had 
previously received some chloral. 

It results from these experiments that strychnine, adminis- 
tered after an excessive dose of chloral, cuts short and destroys 
the effect of the latter, and that without producing its own char- 
acteristic action. Dr. Liebreich proposes to make use of injec- 
tions of nitrate of strychnine in accidents produced by an 
overdose of chloral or chloroform. — Pharm. Journ.^ London, 
April, 1870, from Comptes Hendus, 21st February. 

By Louis Strehl. 

A small lot of quinine was recently purchased in this city, 
bearing the following label : " Light Sulphate of Quinine ; 
Manufactured by Lord Bros., Ludgate Hill, London." The 
manufacturers being unknown, the "quinine" was submitted to 
the ordinary tests for its purity. 

A casual glance at the article excited no suspicion, but upon 
a closer scrutiny, the crystals were found to be colorless rhombic 
prisms, about a line in length, distinct and not interlaced to such 
an extent as we see them in sulphate of quinia. The taste was 
bitter, resembling that of the latter alkaloid. The crystalline 
shape could be readily distinguished by the naked eye. 

The crystals were entirely soluble in cold water, and this so- 
lution, when treated with chlorine water and ammonia, gave no 
characteristic indication of quinia. Chlorine water added to a 
solution of the salt, followed by ferrocyanide of potassium and 
afterwards by a few drops of water of ammonia, gave no indica- 
tion of quinia. 

The above results show the entire absence of quinia in the so- 
called " Light Sulphate of Quinine." 

An aqueous solution of the salt was precipitated by ammonia 
and a portion of the filtrate, treated with chloride of barium, 
gave no precipitate, showing the absence Qf sulphuric acid. An- 
other portion of the filtrate was slightly acidulated with nitric 


acid, and treated with nitrate of silver, which produced a copious 
white precipitate, soluble in excess of ammonia, showing the 
presence of hydrochloric acid. 

It having been demonstrated that the article contained no 
quinia, further examination was decided on, having in view the 
identification of the alkaloid. It is freely soluble in cold and 
much more so in hot water, soluble in alcohol ; cold concentrated 
sulphuric acid dissolves it without change of color, but an odor 
of hydrochloric acid is developed ; on the application of heat the 
solution becomes light brown ; the crystals are freely soluble, 
without change of color in concentrated hydrochloric and nitric 
acids. Soluble in chlorine water-without change of color, and 
upon the addition of ammonia a dirty white precipitate is pro- 
duced not soluble in excess of ammonia, the liquid filtered from 
the precipitate was of a straw color. 

A solution of the salt, to which a few drops of dilute hydro- 
chloric acid were added, when treated with ferrocyanide of po- 
tassium, yielded a copious yellow precipitate. Upon the appli- 
cation of a gentle heat the precipitate dissolved, and the solution 
upon cooling deposited an abundance of beautiful golden yellow 

These tests, while showing the absence of quinia, furnish con- 
clusive evidence that the alkaloid is cinchonia, containing traces 
of cinchonidine. 

The reaction with nitrate of silver, already mentioned, shows 
the alkaloid to be in combination with hydrochloric acid. The 
"Light Sulphate of Quinine " is, therefore, hydro chlorate of cin- 
chonia. The latter salt resembles quite closely in appearance 
the sulphate of quinia, and it is a substitution which might 
readily pass unnoticed. The manufacturers have taken advan- 
tage of this resemblance to perpetrate an extensive and most 
reprehensible fraud, and it is to be hoped that their field of 
operation may be transferred from Ludgate to " Newgate," with 
the privilege of conducting business in the latter locality for an 
unlimited period. 

Chicago, February, 1870. 

— The Pharmacist, Chicago March, 1870. 



By N. Gray Bartlett. 
There is a considerable and increasing demand for this prepa- 
ration ; it is found in commerce containing various proportions 
of strychnia, usually, however, either one or two per cent, of 
the alkaloid. It differs also in respect to solubility, one variety 
being nearly insoluble, and another dissolving readily. 

Citrate of iron and strychnia is usually prescribed in solution, 
and it is the soluble variety that is most generally used and es- 
teemed. Any compound in general use by physicians, contain- 
ing such a potent remedy as the article in question, should have 
its composition authoritatively defined ; it is for this reason, and 
with the belief that it is a valuable addition to the Materia 
Medica, that the following process is suggested for the con- 
sideration of the revisers of the Pharmacopoeia. 

Ferri et Stryehnice Citras. 
Take of Solution of citrate of iron, one pint. 

Stronger water of ammonia, a sufficient quantity, 

(about two troy ounces and a half.) 
Crystallized strychnia, 
Citric acid. 

Water, of each, a sufficient quantity. 

Exactly neutralize the solution of citrate of iron with the 
stronger water of ammonia, cautiously added ; allow the liquid 
to cool, and accurately determine its weight. Pour one troy 
ounce on a pane of glass, and set it aside to dry, at a tempera- 
ture of 90°. Remove the dried salt from the glass, ascertain its 
weight and re-dissolve it in the solution. Apply the ratio of 
salt to liquid to the original weight of the solution, and, for 
every ninety-eight grains of the citrate of iron and ammonia 
present, employ one grain of crystallized strychnia, and one 
grain of citric acid. 

Dissolve the citric acid in a fluidounce of water ; rub the 
strychnia with the same measure of water, and to it add grad- 
ually the acid liquid, stirring until complete solution is effected. 

Heat the solution of citrate of iron and ammonia on a water- 
bath to 120°, and pour into it with brisk agitation of the liquid, 
the strychnia solution ; rinse the mortar with a little water and 



add this also to the heated liquid. Mix thoroughly, and allow 
the solution to stand twenty-four hours. Then filter, evaporate 
on a water-buth, at a temperature below 150°, to a syrupy con- 
sistence, spread on plates of glass, and dry in an atmosphere 
heated to about 90°. 

The salt thus prepared is in garnet-red, translucent scales, 
soluble in water in all proportions ; it contains one per cent, of 
strychnia, this being considered the most appropriate strength 
in consideration of the relative doses of the alkaloid, and the 
iron salt. 

The method of assay to determine the proportionate amount 
of strychnia, is advised to insure accuracy and uniformity. The 
formula has been used by the writer for several years and has 
always yielded a satisfactory product. In experimenting upon 
this salt it was found that the citrate of strychina was liable to 
crystallize from solutions containing an excess of acid ; a solution 
of citrate of iron, not quite neutralized with ammonia, deposited 
almost the entire amount of the alkaloid upon standing twenty- 
four hours. It appeared in cubical crystals, slightly colored. 
The writer believes it to be essential to the successful use of this 
formula, that the iron solution be exactly neutralized^ an excess 
of alkali being equally inadmissible. Litmus paper moistened, 
dipped into the liquid, and afterwards washed with distilled 
water, gives accurate indications ; fresh pieces of paper should 
be employed in every repetition of the test. 

In the experience of the writer the citrate of strychnia will 
never separate from a neutral solution of citrate of iron and am- 
monia. If such an occurrence be possible, it will be made evi- 
dent during the twenty-four hours intervening between the for- 
mation of the solution and its filtration ; and it is with this object 
that the interval is prescribed. 

The citrate of iron and strychnia is very deliquescent, and 
will not dry and scale properly if the atmosphere be very humid ; 
accordingly, it is difiicult to prepare this salt during the summer 
months ; in winter it dessicates without the slightest difl&culty. 
It is advisable to warm the under sides of the glass before at- 
tempting the removal of the salt ; the heat thus applied has the 
effect of loosening it from the glass, and enables the operator to 


secure the salt in large, handsome scales. This remark is ap- 
plicable to all of the scaled preparations of iron, and is of some 
practical utility. — The Pharmacist, Chicago, March^ 1870. 


M. A. Melsens directs attention to the circumstance that 
dried leaves, roots, herbs, flowers, and other drugs are often 
kept in drawers or places in which they are imperfectly protec- 
ted from humidity. In damp weather or moist situations such 
substances absorb an appreciable amount of moisture. As a 
consequence they are apt to deteriorate in quality, losing their 
color, acquiring a musty odor, or becoming mildewed. Even in 
establishments possessing a properly warmed store-room, it 
might, nevertheless, be of advantage to possess a simple means 
of preserving the contents of the shop-drawers in a state of per- 
fect dryness. 

The method which he suggests for this purpose is inexpensive 
and readily applied. It is to place a shallow sheet-iron tray, 
fitted with a cover of metallic gauze or muslin at the bottom of 
the drawer or box, which should also be furnished with a good 
tight-fitting lid. Fused carbonate of potash is placed in the 
tray, and the drugs allowed to rest on its porous cover. It is 
easy with this apparatus to effect the perfect desiccation of 
drugs ; and substances possessing delicate odors which it is de- 
sired to preserve are better dried by this means than any other. 
Squills which have become damp and acquired an unpleasant 
smell, if placed in a box furnished with a tray of carbonate of 
potash, will in a short time lose their odor completely and be- 
come dry and brittle, so that they may be readily powdered. 
Rose leaves may be thus dried perfectly, their perfume being ad- 
mirably preserved. 

The author prefers fused carbonate of potash to chloride of 
calcium, quick-lime, or any other desiccating agent. In cases 
where the substance to be dried contains a great deal of water, 
it is necessary to change the carbonate of potash once or twice 
and re-fuse it. — (7. H. Wood, F.O.S., in Pharm. Jour., Lon- 
don, Dec, 1869. 


By Arthur Ransome, M.A. 

The vapor of the breath was condensed in a large glass flask 
surrounded bj ice and salt, by which a temperature several de- 
grees below zero was obtained. The fluid collected was then 
analysed for free ammonia, urea and kindred substances ; and 
for organic ammonia — the method employed being that invented 
by Messrs. Wanklyn and Chapman for water analysis. 

The breath of eleven healthy persons and of 17 aff'ected by 
difi'erent disorders was thus examined, and the results were given 
in two tables. 

The persons examined were of difi*erent sexes and ages, and 
the time of the day at which the breath was condensed varied. 

In both health and disease the free ammonia varied consider- 
ably, and the variation could not be connected with the time of 
the day, the fasting or full condition. Urea was sought for in 
fifteen instances — three healthy persons and twelve cases of 
disease — but it was only found in two cases of kidney disease, 
in one case of diphtheria, and a faint indication of its presence 
occurred in a female sufl"ering from catarrh. 

The quantity of ammonia, arising from the destruction of or- 
ganic matter, also varied, possibly from the oxidation of albu- 
minous particles by the process of respiration ; but in healthy 
persons there was a remarkable uniformity in the total quantity ' 
of ammonia obtained by the process. Amongst adults the maxi- 
mum quantity per 100 minims of fluid was 0*45 of a milligramme, 
and the minimum was 0*35. 

A rough calculation was given of the total quantity of organic 
matter passing from the lungs in twenty-four hours — in adults 
about 3 grs. in 10 ozs. of aqueous vapor, a quantity small in 
itself, but sufficient to make this fluid highly decomposable, and 
ready to foster the growth of the germs of disease. 

In disease there was much greater variation in the amount 
and kind of organic matter given ofi*. 

In three cases of catarrh, one of measles, and one of diphtheria, 
the total ammonia obtained was much less than in health — less 
than 0*2 of a milligramme — a result probably due to the abund- 



ance of mucus in those complaints, by which the fine solid par- 
ticles of the breath were entangled. 

In two cases of whooping cough it was also deficient, but as 
they were both children, the lack of organic matter may have 
been due to their age. 

In cases of consumption, also, the total ammonia was less 
than in health ; but in one case of this disease associated with 
Bright's disease a large amount of organic matter was given off, 
a portion of it due to urea. 

In kidney diseases the largest amount of organic matter of all 
kinds was found in the breath. The ammonia in one case of 
Bright's disease was 1*8 milligrammes in 100 minims of fluid, 
and urea was largely present. Perhaps this fact might be taken 
as an indication of the need of measures directed to increase the 
activity of other excretory organs. 

In one case of ozoena or offensive breath the total quantity of 
ammonia obtained was greater than in any healthy subject, but 
the excess was chiefly due to organic matter. 

One convalescent case of fever was examined, and the total 
ammonia was found to be deficient. 

The air of a crowded railway carriage, after fifteen minutes 
occupation, was also tested by this method, and in about 2 cubic 
feet 0*3 milligrammes of ammonia and 3 milligrammes of organic 
matter were found. 

With reference to the presence of organic matter in the at- 
mosphere, it was pointed out that the subject was in no way a 
novel one, and that it had, during the last thirty years, been very 
fully investigated by many observers, more especially by 
Schwann, Dasch, Schroeder, Helmholtz, Van den Broeck, Pas- 
teur and Pouchet, but it was shown that it is to Dr. Angus 
Smith that we owe the discovery of the readiness with which 
living organisms are formed in the condensed breath of crowded 
meetings, and the determination of the actual quantity of organic 
matter in the air of different localities. 

Mr. Dancer's calculation of the number of spores contained in 
the air was noticed, but a source of error was pointed out in the 
readiness with which organisms are developed in suitable fluids, 



even in the course of a few hours. Observations upon the or- 
ganic particles of respifed air had at different times been made 
by the author. 

1. In 1857, glass plates covered with glycerin had been ex- 
posed in different places and examined microscopically. Amongst 
others, in the dome of the Borough Gaol, to which all the respired 
air in the building is conducted, organized particles from the 
lungs and various fibres were found in this air. 

During a crowded meeting at the Free Trade Hall air from 
one of the boxes was drawn for two hours through distilled water, 
and the sediment examined after thirty-six hours. The follow- 
ing objects were noted : — Fibres, separate cellules, nucleated 
cells surrounded by granular matter, numerous epithelial scales 
from the lungs and skin. 

3. The dust from the top of one of the pillars was also ex- 
amined, and in addition to other objects, the same epithelial 
scales were detected. 

4. Several of the specimens of fluid from the lungs were also 
searched with the microscope. In all of them epithelium in dif- 
ferent stages of deterioration was abundantly present, but very 
few spores were found in any fresh specimen. On the other 
hand, after the fluid had been kept for a few hours, myriads of 
vibriones and many spores were found. 

In a case of diphtheria, confervoid filaments were noticed, and 
in two other cases, one of measles and one of whooping cough, 
abundant specimens of a small-celled torula were found, and 
these were seen to increase in numbers for two days, after which 
they ceased to develope. 

These differences in the nature of the bodies met with proba- 
bly show some difference in the nature of the fluid given off ; but 
it was pointed out that they afford no proof as yet of the germ 
theory of disease. They simply show the readiness with which 
aqueous vapor of the breath suppor t fermentation, and the dan- 
gers of bad ventilation, especially in hospitals. 

Dr. E. Lund and Dr. H. Browne stated that they had also 
made experiments, the results of which were, in general, con- 
firmatory of those obtained by Dr. Ransome. — Chem. News^ 
Lond., March 18, 1870. 


By John Eliot Howard, F.L.S. 

Since first I had the satisfaction of raising the C, officinalis 
from seed sent me from the mountains of Uritusinga, I have de- 
voted some attention to the cultivation of different species of cin- 
chona under glass. This has extended over a period of about 
ten years, during the larger portion of which my experiments 
have been carried on in a conservatory which I had constructed 
for the purpose, and which, though on quite a limited scale, en- 
ables me to estimate what might be done by means of the appli- 
ances at the disposal of the directors of our botanic gardens. I 
have worked through a fair amount of mistakes and misfortunes, 
and have now about twenty different forms (species or varieties) 
of Cinchona in various stages of development ; and of these, re- 
cently flowering, one plant of the 0. officinalis one of the var. 
Colorada del Ray ^ and one very forward in bud of the (as yet. 
undescribed) C. Forhesiana. I have also still in blossom a plant 
of the Howardia Caracasensis about ten feet in height, and 
covered with flowers for the last two or three months. Such a 
result, if exhibited to the whole pharmaceutical world, as it might 
be at Kew, could not fail to excite interest, and, moreover, the 
possession of living plants gives the opportunity of observing 
many things not apparent in dried specimens. 

The facilities thus afforded for physiological investigation are 
also very important to those who delight to trace the beauti- 
ful contrivances and manifest design everywhere apparent in 
nature, and to whom well-observed facts are more interesting 
than mere mechanical theories of vegetation. As an instance, 
I was recently examining, together with a botanist well acquain- 

*Tliis plant was cut down, ar^^ the produce of sulph. quinine which I 
derived from it is recorded in my' ■* Quinology of the East Indian Planta- 
tion," p. 3. It is now again grown up to a height of 8 feet 6 inches. Mr. 
Broughton has recently found, in five exceptionally fine trees, descendants 
of the sister of the above, 6*20 of purified alkaloids per cent. 

Or sulphate of quinine (obtained crystallized) 3*46 per cent. 
Sulphate of cinchonidin " 1-94 " 

Also cinchonine. 



ted with the Cinchonce in their native woods, some beautiful 
treblj-scrobiculate leaves of mj plants, and we agreed that in- 
spection demonstrated the improbability of a theory recently ad- 
vanced as regards the scrobiculation, which ascribes its origin to 
an inherited defect derived from the attacks of insects. The 
truth being, on the contrary (as I have often observed), that in- 
sects are not found to attack this part of the leaf in preference, 
but are much more addicted to some other portion of the plant. 
The additional beauty of the leaf derived from the scrobicules 
and their regularity must be seen to be appreciated, presenting 
an appearance quite unlike that of an accidental monstrosity. 

As to the light to be thus thrown on botanical arrangement, I 
may mention the opportunity afforded of raising the seeds pro- 
ceeding from the same bunch of capsules, and observing thus, as 
I am doing at the present moment, the amount of variation to be 
observed in the children of one parent plant. 

The very difficulties to be overcome in imitating, as far as 
possible, the climate and soil of the mountain regions of the 
Andes, present many subjects of not unfruitful consideration. 

The influence of light upon vegetation will force itself upon 
the attention in all the varied aspects of the question, as, indeed, 
presenting some of the most formidable difficulties in the culti- 
vation of plants so sensitive as these are to the deficiency of 
stimulus in the dreary months of winter, and to the excess both 
of heat and light in our summer above that to which they have 
been accustomed. The effect of different colored rays, of polar- 
ized light, of a greater or less amount of actinism necessarily 
comes into view. 

The leaves of many species are particularly sensitive to light, 
and turn towards the rays of the sun in a manner sufficiently re- 
markable. In some kinds the structure and coloring are very 
beautiful, and would quite repay cultivation, with this object in 
view. They are frequently covered with a lustrous epiderm, as 
described by Dr. Weddell, in reference to the Qalisaya. This 
epiderm seems, as in the case of some other plants, largely com- 
posed of wax : when this is removed, either by mechanical injury 
or by chemical solvents, the leaf suffers, and the oxidation of 
the juices becomes manifest. It is not easy to imagine from 


dried specimens, the great variety of structure and characteristic 
peculiarities which the leaves present ; but when once well ob- 
served, the aspect of the plant fixes itself in the memory. 

The respiration of plants, as affected by a too retentive soil or 
by too abundant application of water to the roots, has to be 
studied, and it is also necessary to mark the period of hiberna- 
tion or repose, and to encourage rather than to interfere with 
rest at this period, a period which seems in India to be very ac- 
curately marked, and which even under glass, it is not difficult 
to trace. 

Then the nutrition of the plants will require much care. It 
may, at first sight, seem requisite simply to provide the needed 
soil ; and very pure sand, such as Reigate sand, rich loam, and 
bog earth, in proportions, varying according to the species, — 
when mixed, as I find desirable, with broken brick, — will suffi- 
ciently afford this. But there is more than this ; for we shall 
find, if we study the plant, that it is desirable to supply it at the 
period of its most active vegetation with food ministered, as., 
much as possible, in a liquid form, and therefore more easily as., 
gimilated. For as regards the life and growth of the plant, we 
may, in a certain sense, adopt the saying of Thales, that '^ all 
things are from water," for all things must be in solution (either 
aqueous or aerial) before they can be changed into the living 
substance of the vegetable. Now the natural solvent is- rain as 
it falls from the clouds, and in the normal state (as observed by 
Weddell and Markham) of the Cinchonce^^ the roots spread 
superficially through a loose mass of earth and decaying vegeta- 
tion, amidst which they absorb, together with, the rain-water, 
various mineral substances, and also gases, especially carbonic 
acid, presented to the spongioles in the manner most to their 

M. H. Struvef has recently demonstrated the existence, under 
certain conditions, of nitrite of ammonia, together with ozone 
and oxygenated water in rain and snow ; and M, Deville has 
found in snow and rain, collected in the neighborhood of the 

*The C succiruhra prefers a stronger soil, and, perhaps on this ac- 
count, is more easy to cultivate than som.e others.. 
t *• Journal de Pharmacie et de Chimie," November, 1869, p. 357. 


hospice of St. Bernard, a similar composition, at least in so far 
as nitric acid and ammonia being present in greater or less 
quantities. I learn from Dr. Anderson that some species of cin- 
chona flourish at Darjeeling, although the rainfall averages 
127-30 inches for the year,* of which 82 inches fall in three 
months of the summer. But then the character of the soil and 
slope of the hills is such that the rain-water, after having bathed 
the roots, passes away immediately from them ; for Dr. Ander- 
son, as every one else, finds the Cinchonse to be most impatient 
of water at the roots. 

This is difficult to imitate, and the change consequent on the 
scarcity of rain-water to that derived from springs has (appar- 
ently) cost me the health of some valuable plants. Then, again, 
as the leaves can form chlorophyll only in sunshine, and can 
only then derive nourishment from the air, it must be remem- 
bered that, in dark and gloomy weather, we must supply less 
water and less nonrishment to the roots, or the harmony of na- 
ture will be destroyed, and the consequences may be fatal. From 
the same considerations it will follow that too much artificial 
warmth in the night season will be injurious ; and, indeed, the 
plants never seem to thrive better than when a considerable 
range of temperature between day and night is allowed to exist. 
I have found great practical benefit from adopting the system of 
double glazing^ leaving a stratum of air about four inches in 
thickness between the sheets of glass. This tends greatly to 
prevent sudden chills, which are injurious, and also to retain a 
larger amount of moisture in the air surrounding the plants. 
This is much required and best secured by syringing the leaves 
with tepid water twice in the day, avoiding the collection of 
water around the roots. It is important to provide well for 
their drainage by means of broken bricks or tiles ; and I find an 
advantage in conducting the warm water of the return pipes be- 
low the level surface of the ground, so as to secure a slight and 
constant elevation of the temperature. I have a thermometer 
plunged eighteen inches in the bed of earth in which my largest 
plants grow, and I have not noticed this below 50° F. in winter. 

*JBeardmore, " Manual of Hydrology," p. 330. 


I think that the proper range of temperature might be placed at 
from 55° F. in winter to 65° in summer. 

It is very important to allow as much access of fresh air as 
possible. It must be remembered that these are mountain plants, 
loving free air and alternate mist and sunshine, whilst the hot, 
close atmosphere of the lower valleys is always injurious to their 
perfection as quinine-producing plants, and generally fatal to 
their growth.* The very condition of life depends on the con- 
stituent molecules of an organized body being never all in re. 
pose; and whilst these are, on the one hand, received from with- 
out, on the other hand effete particles are continually expelled 
from the plant, whilst others are deposited in the formal tissues, 
thus building up gradually the solid portions of the structure. 
In this manner plants live, grow, multiply under the influence of 
the vital force ; and if these phenomena were more constantly 
under the notice of our writers on Nature, we should perhaps be 
able nationally to elaborate something better than mechanical 
theories of life, force upon our acceptance with an amount of 
confidence bearing an inverse ratio to the proofs produced. We 
should, perhaps, not be told that there is no real difference be- 
tween vital and physical forces." Even the theory of cell-for- 
mation as the origin of all living things, though true as to the 
manner in which nature works, yet does not elucidate her mys- 
teries. It seems to solve more than it really does explain, for 
what is the cell but the boundary within which nature carries on 

* I have recently had the opportunity of observing the same result as 
produced by similar causes in India. Two specimens of red bark were 
sent over for analysis from " Balmadies," a cinchona plantation belonging 
to Mr. Rhode. One of these presented the usual appearance of East In- 
dian succirubra bark. Mr. Broughton informs me that it was grown in a 
valley adjoining the Neilgherris, at an elevation of about 4O0rO feet. Mr. 
B. made an examination of it. Though actually lower in elevation than 
the site of the lower Crown barks on the Nediwuttum plantation, which 
produce much cinchonidine, it is tolerably rich in quinine. " The climate 
differs from these latter by this peculiarity, that during the dry season 
fogs and mists roll up each day from the western coast and moisten the 
leaves, and shade them from the baking Indian sun." The other 
specimen had the aspect of the C. rubra dura of the Germans, and con- 
tained less quinine, but more than twice as much cinchonidine. It came 
" from the hot bottom of the valley." 


her operations ?* and, after all, what are these ? and what is 
life ? Whoever watches the manner in w^hich nature acts the 
aedile with her cells — diruit, sedificat, mutat quadrata rotun- 
dis ") — will think little of the cell itself, and much of that which 
it contains. If I take in my hands a brick, I have a specimen 
of material by which, through adding brick to brick, the four 
walls of a house may be constructed ; but I should not be able 
thence to reason out the nature of the stirring active life which 
those boundary walls might contain. The addition of brick to 
brick might very well illustrate the phenomena of crystalliza- 
tion, but the activities of life within the plant much more re- 
semble the course of reconstruction of a great city like Paris, in 
which an imperial will, availing itself of the all-arranging genius 
of a subordinate functionary, acts for the good of the whole, 
and, caring little for the four walls, or for any number of them, 
if standing in the way of its well-devised projects, adapts the 
materials even of previous structures to the exigencies of the 
new thing that has to be produced ; and who will deny that the 
result is admirable ? 

It is thus that practical experience in cultivation leads to the 
review of theories which must be cast aside when they have 
served their turn, or demolished when they stand in the way of 
real science, which means knowledge, and not speculation. 

In the address of the President I observe with pleasure the 
remark that "a country stroll of half an hour will yield material 
for thought and investigation available for many a day;" and 
may we not extend the application of the lines which he has 
quoted to the more difficult, but not less remunerative, objects 
of study presented by the cultivation of plants in circumstances 
so different to those of their native habitat ? The very difficul- 
ties we encounter are a source of pleasure in overcoming them^ 
and enable us to appreciate more fully that infinitely varied 
Wisdom which has appointed everything beautiful in its season, 
and all things in measure and number and weight. JVo quid 
nimus is a golden rule for every one that attempts to cultivate 

*See "Chemismus der Pflanzenzelle," von Dr. H. Karsten, Wein, 
1869, pp. 5, 6, etc. 



the cinchonae under glass. To neglect this would be to ensure 
failing in the undertaking. — Pharmaceutical Journal, London, 
January, 1870. 

By Edward Smith, F.C.S. 

Judging from the papers that have recently appeared in the 
"Pharmaceutical Journal," it would seem that there still exist 
great doubts as to the actual composition of this popular remedy. 

There have been published two formulae for the preparation of 
chlorodyne, — one known as Dr. Ogden's, and quoted by Royle 
in his "Materia Medica," the other to be found in Squire's 
" Companion," and two more distinct and divergent formulae 
can hardly be conceived. It may be worth while, perhaps, to 
put them side by side. 

Dr. Ogden's (Royle). 
R ^ther. Chlor. Z] 
Chloroform ^vj 
Tinct. Capsici 5ss 
01. Month. Pip. gtt. ij 
Morph. Mur. gr. viij 
Acid. Perchlor. gtt. xx 
Tinct. Cannab. Ind. 3j 
Theriacae 3j 

Acid. Hydrocy. Scheele v^i 

Squire's (Companion). 
R Chloroform ^iv 

Sp. V. Rect. ^iv 

Theriacae ^iv 

Ext. Glycyrrh. Jiiss 

Morph. Mur. gr. viij 

01. Month. Pip. ni^ xvj 

Syrupi ^xviiss 

Acid. Hydrocy. dil. ^ij. 


Dr. Ogden, I believe, published his formula as resulting from 
analysis, and Squire says his formula has been represented to 
him as the true one ; it is plain, however, either that Dr. Ogden's 
analysis is worthless, or that Squire's information is derived 
from unreliable sources. Dr. Ogden gives the amount of morphia 
as eight grains in about nine drachms ; Squire gives it as eight 
grains in about thirty-five ounces ! The proportion of chloro 
form, too, differs enormously. In the first it amounts to about 
two thirds, in the latter to about one-eighth. Dr. Ogden says 
nothing of ext. glycyrrh., syrup, sp. v. rect., or ether, and on 


the other hand, Squire omits all mention of acid, perchlor., tinct. 
cannabis, or capsicum. 

I have not met with the particulars of Dr. Ogden's so-called 
analysis, and in truth I am very much inclined to doubt if any 
chemical analysis has been attempted, as the formula bears the 
impress of improbability on the face of it, i. e., supposing that 
Collis Browne's chlorodyne be intended ; for instance the dose 
of the latter as marked on the label is from ten to thirty drops ; 
now this would contain, if Dr. Ogden is right, from seven to 
twenty drops of chloroform, a dose which very few practitioners 
would care to venture upon, particularly as it is to be repeated 
at certain intervals, and in combination with from a sixth to half 
a grain of morphia per dose. I rather suspect that Dr. Ogden's 
analysis has had more of a physical character attached to it, the 
organs of taste and smell having perhaps greatly assisted the 
supplimentary chemical tests. 

The dose of chloroform in Squire's is not unreasonable ; but 
that of morphia, viz. the l-200th to the l*70th of a grain, is pal- 
pably absurd, and so homoeopathic that it might practically be 
omitted from the compound. The only conclusion fairly de- 
ducible from a comparison of the two formulae is, that neither of 
them can be said to represent the well-known Browne's chloro- 

The results of an examination I have recently made of the 
genuine compound may not be uninteresting to pharmacists. 

The positive detection and isolation of the alkaloids in com- 
plex organic mixtures is not always a very easy task, more es- 
pecially when they exist in small proportions. I started with 
the intention of simply satisfying myself of the presence or 
absence of morphia ; however, the examination gradually de- 
veloped itself, and ultimately I managed to make out with 
tolerable precision what I believe to be the actual composition of 
this preparation. 

Genuine chlorodyne has a sp. gr. of 1-216, and reddens blue 
litmus paper. Distilled over a water-bath, it yields an opaque 
distillate, evidently a mixture of two or more fluids ; on the 
addition of an equal volume of water, the distillate separates 
into three distinct layers. The upper one has an ethereal 



pepperminty odor and taste, and is in fact oil of peppermint dis- 
solved in ether. The ether may be recognized by the ready in- 
flammability of its vapor. 

The middle layer, separated by a pipette and gently heated 
with a few drops of hydrochloric acid and potassium chromate, 
gradually assumes a green coloration, owing to the reduction of 
the chromate, and indicating the presence of alcohol — a tincture 
probably. The odor of hydrocyanic acid is given off during the 
heating. This layer also gives a precipitate with silver nitrate, 
insoluble in nitric acid and sparingly soluble in ammonia, reveal- 
ing hydrocyanic acid.* 

The lowest layer, heated gently with caustic potash, yields 
with silver nitrate a precipitate insoluble in nitric acid, and 
which blackens by the further application of heat, owing to the 
reduction of the silver formiate, indicating the presence of chlo- 

The residue in the retort, consisting of a dark, semifluid paste, 
dissolves in water, and has a very pungent, peppery taste of 
capsicum. This aqueous solution gives a precipitate with alco- 
hol, basic plumbic acetate, and ammonium oxalate, revealing the 
presence of gum, and also gives the usual glucose reaction with 
the potassio-cupric tartrate. The non-volatile alkaloids would 
of course be found in the residue in the retort after distillation, 
but the coloring matter adheres to its solution in water, etc., 
with such pertinacity as to render the usual tests very unreliable, 
and therefore a fresh sample of the original compound is re- 
quired, to satisfactorily determine their presence. 

The following is the plan I adopted to isolate the alkaloids : — 
Digest the chlorodyne with twice its volume in alcohol, con- 
taining a few drops of acetic acid at a warm temperature, say 
50° to 60° C. for four or five hours, occasionally shaking the mix- 
ture. The whole of the gum and much of the coloring matter 

* In the preliminary examination of complex organic mixture for hy- 
drocyanic acid, Schbnbein's guaiaco cupric test promises to be useful. 
Thus, the presence of hydrocyanic acid in chlorodyne may be determined 
in a few seconds by this test. It must be borne in mind that/ree nitric 
acid and chlorine give the same reaction, but not their compounds, neither 
do acetic, hydrochloric, sulphuric, or phosphoric acids. 



are thus precipitated. After filtration, the alcoholic solution is 
gently evaporated until it thickens, being careful not to push the 
evaporation too far, as the glucose in the solution very soon 
blackens. To this semi-liquid extract is added water, and the 
whole gently heated with a solution of potassium bicarbonate, 
containing a little caustic potash, and set aside to deposit. 

This precif^itate of alkaloids is separated by filtration and 
digested with ether, until nothing more is dissolved. All the 
alkaloids likely to be present in chlorodyne, such as atropia, are 
soluble in ether, with the exception of morphia, which remains 
undissolved. The residue, insoluble in ether, is treated with 
acetic ether, in which it speedily dissolves. A small portion of 
the ether solution undergoes no change on the addition of 
/ potassic iodomercuride solution, but by evaporation yields a very 

minute residue, which has an intensely pungent and burning 
taste, being evidently impure capsicine. All my attempts to 
obtain evidence of the presence of atropia failed. 

The acetic ether solution gives a copious precipitate on the 
addition of potassic iodomercuride solution, and by evaporation 
yields microscopic crystals, which, on the addition of a few 
drops of acidulated water, give the usual morphia reactions with 
nitric acid and neutral ferric chloride, thus satisfactorily demon- 
stating the presence of morphia. 

From the above it will be seen that chlorodyne consists essen- 
tially of chloroform, morphia, ether, hydrocyanic acid, and cap- 
sicum, with the addition of gum and treacle as vehicles, and oil 
of peppermint as a flavoring ingredient. Tincture of Indian 
hemp does not appear to be present, as the alcoholic extract is 
soluble in water. 

The quantitative estimation of the several component parts of 
chlorodyne is in some respects a very tedious process, but it may 
be roughly made as follows : — The chloroform by distilling a 
known quantity, and adding to the distillate a given volume of 
water, — the chloroform is thus isolated, and, if a graduated 
measure be used, its volume at once read of ; at the same time 
the amount of spirit, plus hydrocyanic acid, may be noted, and 
the oil of peppermint, plus ether, which floats on the surface. If 
the hydrocyanic acid be now estimated by precipitating with a 



known weight of silver nitrate, the amount of spirit is a simple 
matter of calculation. 

The gum readily separates on the addition of alcohol, and 
may be washed, dried, and weighed, or a known volume of water 
added to the precipitate, in which it speedily dissolves, the in- 
crease in volume will approximately give the amount of gum. 
The capsicum does not exist in sufficient quantity to admit of 

The morphia may be estimated by evaporating the acetic 
ether solution to dryness, dissolving in water slightly acidulated 
with acetic acid, and cautiously neutralizing with caustic potash 
(being careful to avoid excess, which redissolves the precipitated 
morphia), filtering and weighing. It is necessary to operate 
upon at least four ounces of chlorodyne to arrive at anything 
like satisfactory results. The potassic iodomercuride solution 
precipitates morphia from its solutions, but unfortunately the re- 
action is not sufficiently reliable to employ it as a quantitative 
test. The amount of treacle may be estimated pretty closely by 
calculation after all the ingredients have been accounted for. 

The composition of chlorodyne, then, I put as follows: — 

Chloroformi . . . 

f- 3iy 

Morphise Mur. . . 

gr. XX 

^ther. Rectif. . . 

01. M. Pip. . . . 

rri viij 

Acid. Hydrocy. Dil. 

f. S'lY 

Tinct. Capsici . . 

f. 5vj 

Mist. Acacise. . . 

Theriacse. . . ad 

f. liv. 


This does not give so dark a compound as the original, because 
the latter contains caramel, but as this has no medicinal or other 
value, I have omitted it, making up to the required volume with 
the treacle. 

In conclusion, I would suggest to those who care to use this 
formula, that it be known and prescribed as " liquor chloromor- 
phiae comp.," which explains sufficiently well its essential con- 
stituents, and is a name which cannot be confused with any 
advertised or quack compounds. — P7i. Jou7\, Lond., Jan., 1870. 


By 0. H. Wood, F.C.S. 

The process given in the British Pharmacopoeia for the pre- 
paration of linimentum saponis is, I believe, founded upon the 
results of some experiments communicated to the Society by Mr. 
Deane in 1859. Mr. Deane found that when good Castile soap is 
macerated in the spirit at a temperature below 70° F., the oleate 
of soda dissolves, while the margarate of soda remains to a great 
extent insoluble, and the resulting solution does not lose its 
limpidity by the application of moderate cold. If, on the con- 
trary, the whole of the soap be dissolved by digestion with heat, 
the liniment gelatinizes on a reduction of temperature. From 
this it follows that good soap liniment should consist of a solu- 
tion of oleate of soda, as free as possible from the alkaline mar- 
garate or stearate. Hence Castile soap, which is prepared from 
olive oil, is the only commercial soap adapted to the purpose, the 
other soaps being made from solid fats, and containing a much 
smaller proportion of the oleate. Mr. Squire mentions in his 
book an experiment indicating that white Castile soap is soluble 
to the extent of 80 per cent, in cold rectified spirit. This is the 
soap described in the Pharmacopoeia, and I have no doubt that 
if the process there given for preparing the liniment be carefully 
followed, it yields a sufficiently satisfactory result. Nevertheless, 
if a soap could be obtained containing a still larger proportion 
of the soluble constituent, it would doubtless be preferred. For 
some time past I have prepared such a soap for myself by a very 
ready method, and have found it to possess considerable advan- 

To produce a soap as rich as possible in oleate of soda, an oil 
should be selected containing the largest proportion of olein and 
the smallest quantity of solidifiable constituents. Almond oil is 
therefore better suited for the purpose than olive oil, and it is 
from this material that I obtain my product. 

The saponification of oil as commonly performed is a protrac- 
ted and somewhat tedious process to conduct on the small scale. 
For this reason, probably, chemists are not in the habit of pre- 
paring their own soap. But if, instead of boiling the oil and 



alkali together until they unite, the oil be first treated in the 
cold with 2Dth of its weight of strong sulphuric acid and allowed 
to remain for twenty-four hours, it is rendered so soluble in liq. 
sodae that its conversion into soap becomes a matter of the 
utmost facility. Adopting this plan, I have found the process 
to be one of the easiest of pharmaceutical operations. The acid 
mixes freely with the oil, forming a blackish-colored fluid. On 
the addition of the soda this color entirely disappears, and the 
soap obtained is quite white. The follow^ing is the method of 
procedure I have found to be the most convenient : — 

Almond oil IJ pound (av.), 

Sulphuric acid 1 ounce (weight), 

Liq. sodse 10 pints (Imp.) 

Add the acid to the oil, stirring the mixture. Allow this to 
remain for twenty-four hours. Then pour it into the liq. sodse 
contained in a clean iron vessel, and apply heat. Very 
shortly after it boils, the liquid becomes perfectly bright and 
transparent ; the fire is then removed, and the whole allowed to 
become perfectly cold. The soap is then found as a coherent 
cake floating on the top of the liquor. It is laid on a calico fil- 
ter, and left to drain for several hours ; or, if it is desired to 
obtain it perfectly free from all traces of caustic alkali, it may 
be redissolvcd in 10 pints of boiling water, and a strong solution 
of 5 oz. of common salt added. As the mixture cools, the soap 
rises to the surface ; and when quite cold, again forms a fine 
layer, resting on the aqueous liquid. No loss of weight is thus 
incurred. The soap is placed on calico to drain, after which it 
may be submitted to moderate pressure, or melted in a tared 
dish, and reduced to a uniform weight of 2i pounds. When 
thoroughly cold, it forms a firm white soap, which may be cut 
into pieces, and kept for use in a covered pot. 

In the preparation of linimentum saponis, this soap is mace- 
rated in the spirit in the cold. It very quickly dissolves, es- 
pecially if the mixture be agitated. From 4 to 5 per cent, of 
the weight of the soap remains insoluble, as a flocculent deposit. 
After this is filtered out, a pale liniment is obtained, which may 
be kept at 32° F. for any length of time without thickening or 
depositing. The Pharmacopoeia does not direct the soap to be 



dried before use. Fresh soap usually contains from 30 to 40 
per cent, of water, and I think it best to employ it in this moist 

Soap may be quite as readily made from olive oil by the fore- 
going method, but I think the use of almond oil will be found to 
present several important advantages. Although the latter is 
the dearer material, it does not sensibly affect the cost of the 
liniment, because the soap is to a greater extent soluble ; conse- 
quently, the quantity of product is increased, and the proportion 
of spirit retained in the undissolved matter is saved. — Pharm, 
Jour.^ London^ January^ 1870. 

Note. — The high price of oil of almonds in this country will preclude 
the use of that oil in the preparation of an extemporaneous soap. The 
use of the sulphuric acid is to destroy or separate the glycerin as sulpho- 
glyceric acid when the saponification of the oily acids is more easily ef- 
fected. It is suggested, as a more appropriate method when it is desired 
to get a soap liniment consisting mainly of oleate of soda soap, that the 
ordinary white Castile soap be dissolved in the alcohol in such excess that 
the less soluble margarate of soda may crystallize out by careful cooling, 
separated on a cloth and expressed, and thus prevent the annoyance 
arising from change of temperature in winter. — Editor Amer. Journal 

By Ernest Agnew. 

The large extension given to this agreeable form of pill, and 
its adaptability to a hos-t of substances usually administered in 
that manner, necessitate a few remarks on their manufacture, 
more especially as in England they seem to be less employed or 
less appreciated than in America or on the Continent, where it 
is usual to keep genuine dragees of various strengths, ranging 
from one grain to five of rhubarb, aloes, and various other sim- 
ple and compound pills, sugar-coated ; an advantage apparently 
much appreciated by customers, who rarely fail to renew a re- 
quest for the same. The method adopted in their manufacture 
is one of admirable simplicity, but succeeds best on a large scale, 
unfortunately preventing its use for the general work of a dis- 
pensing counter. But the numerous special pills constituting 



the "patent," or leading article of nearly every pharmacist, can 
be made quicker, better and more advantageously than by the 
ordinary method, even where aided by machinery. The ingre- 
dients for the pills should be thoroughly mixed and sifted, so as 
to form a fine, impalpable powder. With some substances of an 
untenacious character it is necessary to add a little dextrine, 
sugar, or gum. The sugar granules forming the nuclei of the 
pills are either to be bought from the wholesale confectioners 
under the name of nonpareils^ or are easily made by agitating 
and rubbing together coarsely sifted sugar and syrup in a large 
copper basin over a slow charcoal fire. 

The granules, weighing each about one-tenth of a grain, are 
measured out so as to furnish the requisite number of pills, and 
are introduced into a large copper basin suspended by two ropes 
from a bar of wood, capable of revolving horizontally on an iron 
bolt fixed in the ceiling. A small charcoal fire is lit in an open 
pan under the basin, and serves also to keep warm a quantity 
of syrup, with which the granules are moistened from time to 
time, and continually rubbed and agitated with a little of the 
powder, added very gradually, the basin being rapidly rotated, 
and jerked upwards occasionally. This operation, which must 
be repeated an indefinite number of times, until the dragees are 
completed, requires considerable skill on the part of the mani- 
pulator, for if too much of the excipient be added at once, it 
dissolves the previous couche, and prevents the regular forma- 
tion of the concentric layers of which each dragee is built up, 
much in the same manner as starch granules are by some sup- 
posed to be formed. The final coating with sugar is the least 
difficult part of the operation, and is done either with syrup 
alone, or with the addition of a little plaster of Paris, very brisk 
agitation being required, so as to avoid any agglomeration of the 
dragees^ the temperature being so regulated as to dry the sugar 
without a possibility of melting it. Or, in the case of certain 
pills, where sugar-coating is undesirable, owing to its discolora- 
tion by the ingredients of the kernel, such as in pills of iodide 
of iron, etc., copal and balsam of tolu dissolved in ether forms 
an excellent coating, easy of application, and effective in results. 
The advantages of making large quantities of pills by this 



process may be briefly summed up : firstly, the rapidity with 
"which they are made, a clever workman easily making a batch 
of 100,000 pills in a day and a half ; secondly, their uniform 
roundness and pleasant appearance contrasted with that of ordi- 
nary pills ; thirdly, their compactness and hermetic enclosure, 
which insures their keeping without change, and at the same 
time allows of their easy solution in the stomach, envelope and 
excipient being both perfectly soluble. 

Granules containing 1 milligramme of powerful medicines, 
such as arsenious acid, sodic arseniate, digitaline, aconitine, etc., 
are much prescribed by continental physicians, especially in 
Italy ; and where a regular or gradually increasing dose of any 
such medicine is required, no system so completely fulfils the 
prescriber's intentions, combined with so little inconvenience to 
the patient. In making these granules, the active ingredient 
is usually dissolved in the syrup, the bulk being merely pow- 
dered sugar. Thus in making 10,000 granules of sodic arseniate, 
dissolve in 500 grammes of syrup 10 grammes of the arseniate, 
with which gradually moisten the granules, the operator rubbing 
and agitating them the whole time to prevent their adhesion. 

Leptandrin, assafoetida, and many other nauseous substances, 
are commonly encased in sugar by our American confreres, who 
certainly display much ingenuity in the manner in which they 
cater for public patronage, some of their convenient inventions 
having become quite indispensable to the upper class of that 
country. At the works established at St. Denis by M. Menier, 
and now belonging to the Pharmacie Centrale of France, the 
dragees and granules are made by steam-machinery, and the 
rapidity of the operation is increased by a blast of warm air 
driven upon the basin, which revolves eccentrically, rendering 
it almost impossible for the granules to adhere to each other. 
Sugar-coated semen-contra is also much used as a pleasant 
remedy for worms in children, their resemblance to caraway 
comfits conducing much to their easy administration. But here 
we are trenching on the domains of the confectioner, from whom 
many a lesson is to be learnt in the art of rendering nice and 
attractive much which is in the crude state, to say the least, 
disgusting and repulsive.— Zowc?. Pharm, Journ,^ March^ 1870. 




By M. Gaston Tissandier. 

Acetic acid, sometimes called, in commerce, pjroligneous acid, 
generally contains about 40 per cent, of acetic acid, C^H^O^ ; it 
is sold by the acidimetric standard, which is determined by means 
of a titrated alkaline liquid. 

Acidimetric Standard. — Preparation of the Alkaline Liquid. — 
We have already shown how the alkalimetric sulphuric acid may 
be prepared accurately; this well-verified solution, containing 
100 grms. of sulphuric acid per litre, is the basis of the prepara- 
tion of the alkalimetric liquid which, in laboratories, is used to 
effect nitrogen determinations or to take acidimetric standards. 

Any quantity whatever of pure caustic soda — 15 or 18 grms., 
for instance — is dissolved in a litre of water. 10 centimetres 
of the normal sulphuric acid liquor (containing 1 grm. of 
SO3HO) are taken and poured into a small precipitating glass ; 
to this is added some sensitive tincture of litmus, and the solu- 
tion of caustic soda poured into it drop by drop by means of a 
graduated burette, divided into tenths of c.c, till the red litmus 
becomes blue — that is to say, till the acid is saturated. Let us 
suppose that 50 c.c, or 500 divisions, of our alkaline solution are 
required to saturate 10 c.c. of the titrated sulphuric acid liquid. 
We know^ that 500 divisions saturate 1 grm. of sulphuric acid, 
and we can calculate, according to the equivalents, what quantity 
of acetic acid will saturate a certain volume of our liquid; w^e 
know, for example, that 500 divisions ought to saturate 1*224 

49(S03,HO) 1. 

grms. of acetic acid, C^H^O^ : — in fact, = — 

60 (CJI.O,) X 

Before thus standardizing the alkaline liquor of caustic soda, 
it is well to add some slaked lime, to prevent it from carbonat- 
ing, w^hich would interfere with the sharpness of the coloration 
of the red litmus into blue. B<ifore using this liquor, the bottle 
which contains it is shaken, and left to settle, so that the lime 
may be deposited at the bottom ; the solution, becoming clear in 
a few minutes, is then poured into the graduated burette, which 
is used to take the standard of pyroligneous acid under assay. 




According to arrangements between the buyer and seller, the 
standard of this acid is taken either bj volume or by weight. In 
the former case 1 c.c. of acetic acid is saturated, in the latter 
1 grm. 

In order to take the standard by weight, a small glass, con- 
taining in it a 10-grm. weight, is tared on a sensitive balance. 
Equilibrium being established, the 10-grm. weight is taken out, 
and the acetic acid to be tested is then gradually poured into 
the glass by means of a small tube, so as to regain the equili- 
brium. We have thus, by double weighing, obtained 10 grms. 
of acetic acid, which are to be diluted with water so as to give a 
volume of 100 c.c. 

After this solution has been rendered homogeneous by shak- 
ing, 10 centimetres of it are removed, corresponding to 1 grm. 
of acetic acid. Instead of directly weighing 1 grm. of the acid 
to be tested, it is better to weigh 10 grms. of it, as we have in- 
dicated ; because, in case of a verification being needed, it is 
easier to measure 10 c.c. than to commence a fresh weighing. 

The 10 centimetres deducted are placed in a precipitating jar, 
litmus is added, and the alkaline soda liquid poured in, drop by 
drop, till the litmus becomes clearly blue. If 150 divisions have 
been used, we shall obtain the acidimetric standard of pyrolige- 
neous acid by the following equation — 

500 divisions saturate . . 1-224 grs. of C^H^O^ 
150 will saturate . . x. 

whence — 

X = 0-3672. 

300 grms. of the assayed acetic acid contain, then, 36-72 grms. 
of C4H4O4, which is expressed by saying that its standard is 

When the standard is taken by volume the operation is the 
same ; only, instead of weighing 10 grms. of the acid, 10 c.c. are 

Examination for Mineral Acids — Acetic acids are sometimes 
adulterated with mineral acids (chlorhydric and sulphuric, &c.), 
which augment their standard. 

To detect their presence, 50 c.c. of acetic acid are heated to 
the boiling-point with 1 or 2 centigrms. of starch, and left to 



boil about twenty minutes. When the liquid has become cold, 
some drops of tincture of iodine are poured into it. If a blue 
coloration of iodide of starch occurs, the acetic acid contains no 
mineral acids ; but if this coloration is not produced, we may be 
certain of the presence of mineral acids, which, under the action 
of heat, have transformed the starch into dextrine, and thus 
prevented the formation of the iodide. Care must be taken to 
pour the iodine into the cold liquid, for iodide of starch is de- 
colorized spontaneously under the action of heat. Chlorhydric 
acid may also be immediately detected by adding to the acetic 
acid a few drops of nitrate of silver ; and the presence of sul- 
phuric acid is discovered by chloride of barium. In the latter 
case, it must not be forgotten that chloride of barium is insoluble 
in acids, and that the acetic acid ought to be diluted with a suf- 
ficiently large quantity of water to avoid the possibility of error 
from this cause. 

Pyroligneous acids generally standardize 89° to 40° ; how- 
ever, this figure is not absolute. We have sometimes met with 
samples containing only 34 per cent, of acetic acid, others hav- 
ing 46 to 50 per cent., and even still larger quantities. — Chein. 
News, Lond., Jan. 21, 1870. 

A stated meeting of the College was held at the College Building, 
December 27th, 1869 ; the President, Dillwyn Farrish, presiding. [This 
was the first meeting under the revised By-laws, making the meetings of 
the College quarterly in place of semi-annually as heretofore.] 

The minutes of the last stated meeting and all of the several adjourned 
meetings were read and approved. The minutes of the Board of Trustees 
being read by the Secretary of the Board, inform that Louis G. Bauer, 
C. F. Gristock, Clemmons Parrish, Andrew C. Blair, Henry C. Eddy, 
James S. Robinson, Geo. W. Kennedy, W. G. Buchanan, Samuel Camp- 
bell, Louis A, Baker, Wm. Mclntyre, Henry K. Bowman, M. G. Ros- 
engarten and Jos. R. Dugan were elected active members of the College, 
Also that at a meeting of the Board on the 5th of October the following 
gentlemen were elected corresponding members of the College, viz. : 

Great Britain. — Prof. John Attfield, London; Henry B. Brady, New 
Castle-on-Tyne ; John Abraham, Liverpool ; T. B. Groves, Weymouth • 
Chas. Tichbourne, Dublin ; F. Crace Calvert, Manchester ; John Mackay, 
Edinburgh; W. W. Stoddart, Bristol ; J. C. Brough of London. 


Germany.— Dv. H. Ludwig, Jena; Dr. L. A. Buchner, Munich: Dr. 
J. B. Henkel, Tubingen ; Dr. Rieckher, Marbach; Albert Frickhinger, 
Nordlingen ; A. Margraflf, Berlin ; Dr. Carl Schacht, Berlin ; Dr. Franz 
Beckert,* Vienna; Anton von Waldheim, Vienna; Dr. Clamor Mar- 
quart, Bonn. 

Sivitzerland. — Dr. J. J. Bernoully, Basel; A. Gruner, Bern; L. Lade, 

France. — Augustine Delondre, Sevres ; Prof. L. R. Le Canu, Paris; 
Dr. J. Leon Soubeiran, Paris; M. Stanislaus Martin, Paris; M. S. Robi- 
net.t Paris ; M. Frangois L. M. Dorvault, Paris ; M. A. Gobley, Paris ; 

Prof. A. Chevallier, Paris; M. Paul Antoine Cap, Paris; Prof. 

Planchon, Paris. 

Netherlands. — M. Walter, Amsterdam. 

Belgium. — Dr. A. Yon Bastelaer, Charleroi; Prof. Norbert Gille, 

Prussia. — Dr. G. Dragendorff, Dorpat; Dr. Arthur Casselman, St,, 
Petersburg; Dr. Bjoerklund, St. Petersburg. 

ifaly. — Louis Mosca, Turin; Nicholas Sinimberghi, Rome. 

Egypt. — Dr. Gastinel, Cairo. 

Brazil. — Dr. Theodore Pecholt, Cantagallo. 

The Committee on Sinking Fund report the collection of $55, and an 
additional subscription of $50 to the Building Fund. The Treasurer of 
the late Building Committee informed that there was to his credit as 
Treasurer, interest amounting to $113.60. 

A. B. Taylor made a verbal report for the Committee appointed to 
confer with the Committee of the different medical societies on the 
subject of legislation to prevent adulteration in drugs and medicinal 
preparations. The Joint Committee, after a number of sessions and free 
conference on the merits of proposed measures, designed to effect the 
purpose desired, finally concluded to recommend to the several bodies 
represented in the Committee the draft of the law proposed and con- 
sidered by the American Pharmaceutical Association, as embodying a 
better plan than any other which has been brought to their notice for the 
suppression of adulteration and sophistication of drugs and medicines. 

Chas. Bullock, 


March 17, 1870. 

A special meeting of the College was held for the purpose of electing 
delegates to the Convention for revision of the U. S. Pharmacopoeia, to 
assemble in Washington in May next. Nominations having been made, 
the following gentlemen were elected to represent this College in the 
convention, viz. : Wm. Procter, Jr., Prof. John M. Maisch, Alfred B. 

Charles Bullock, Secretary. 
* Died March 5th, 1879, at Vienna. f Died December 6th, 18C9. 



March 28, 1870. 

The Annual Meeting of the College was held at the College Building. 
The President, Dillwyn Parrish, Presiding. The minutes of last stated 
meeting and of special meeting were read and approved. 

The minutes of the Board of Trustees were read by A. B. Taylor, Sec- 
retary of the Board, and on motion approved. These minutes inform 
that, at the Annual Commencement of the College held March 22d, a^ 
the Academy of Music, the diploma of the College was conferred by 
President Dillwyn Parrish, on 51 graduates, whose names and theses are 
aa follows : 

LOUIS W. ADAMS, Philadelphia, Pa Pepsin. 

GEORGE W. BARTON, Philadelphia, Pa Physiology of Plants^. 

JOHN M. BRENNAN, Philndelphia, Pa Percolation. 

MILTON G. BRIGGS, Philadelphia, Pa Heuchera Americana. 

EDWARD CHILES, Frankfort, Ky Spiriius Frumenti. 

SILAS B. CLARK, Vermont The Country Drvg Store. 

WM. C. CONNALLY, Atlanta, Ga Tlte proposed Law for tlie practice of Pharmacy. 

HENRY H. DINNING, New York Cimicifuga Racemosa. 

BENTOx\ G. DOSCH, Chambersburg, Pa Pepo and ValhVs Mass. 

WILL. RUSH EHLER, Lancaster, Pa Filtration. 

CHARLES L. FINCH, Philadelphia, Pa Treatment of Poisons. 

A. F. GERHARD, Philadelphia Pa Socotrine and Capa Aloes. 

C. L. GROFF, Philadelphia, Pa On Tinctures. 

G. OMAR GUY, Chicago, 111 Sulphocarbolic acid and the Sulphocarbolates. 

JOSEPH J. HALL, Nashville, Tenn Analysis of Squire's Citrate of Magnesia. 

WM. H. HANCKER, Philadelphia, Pa Cannabis Indica. 

JOHN B. HANNAMAN, Philadelphia, Pa The Root of Baptisia Tinctoria. 

S. E. R. HASSINGER, Philadelphia, Pa Ilex VerticiHaia. 

LLEWELLYN HELFRICH, Philada., Pa Black Alder. 

EUGENE HERBERT, Philadelphia, Pa Carbolic Acid. 

LOUIS W. HILLENBRAND, Philada., Pa Copiis Trifolia. 

JOHN F. HUDIJART, Louisville, Ky A plea for the more general use of Fluid Extracts. 

THOMAS HUNTER, Philadelphia, Pa Ceratum Plumbi Subacetatis. 

OTWAY E. HUTCHINGS, New Orleans, Jja.. The number of drops to a fluid drachm. 

HARRY R. KERVEY, West Chester, Pa The Life of a Drug Clerk. 

JOSEPH J. KIRKBRIDE, Philada., Pa Arsenic2im. 

CHARLES S. LEE, Bridgeton, N. J A first class Drug Store. 

WALTER LEHMAN, Philadelphia, Pa Podophyllum. 

THOMAS J. LIGHTCAPP, Allentown, Pa Chloral and its Hydrate. 

SAMUEL LOTT, Philadelphia, Pa Lycopus Virginicus. 

ED. H. LUCKENBACH, Bethlehem, Pa Eaonymus Atropurpureus. 

JOHN T. Mclaughlin, Peoria, 111 Angelica Atropurpurea. 

HENRY A. NEWBOLD, Philadelphia, Pa Glycyrrhiza Glabra. 

JAMES J. OTTINGER, Mount Holly, N. J.... 

DANIEL J. PATTON, Burlington, N. J Euphorbia Ipecacuanha. 

ROBERT P. RANKIN, Bellefonte, Pa Ca&sia Marilandica. 

EUGENE A. RAU, Bethelehem, Pa Catalpa Bignonioides. 

HARRY D. SCHELL, Philadelphia, Pa Cmvolvulus Punduratus. 

HENRY SCHMIDT, Philadelphia, Pa Pimpinella Anisum. 

LEWIS F. SEGREST, Philadelphia, Pa liubus Villosus. 

C. F. SHOEMAKER, Philadelphia, Pa On Patent Medicines. 

WALTER C. STILLWELL, Philada., Pa Pix Liquida. 

CHARLES F. STRETGH, Salem, N. J The importance of System. 

J. L. SUPPLE, Philadelphia, Pa 

LEOP()LDOTOMASSEVICH,St. Jago,Cuba..P/(armac'!/ as one of the Learned Professions. 

JOHN TULL, Philadelphia, Pa Granular Preparations. 

D H. TURNER, Towanda, Pa The early closing of Drug Stores. 



A. B. WENRICH. Myerstown, Pa Pharmacy vs. Vox Populi. 

J. ALEX. WILHELM, York, Pa A Chologogue tincture of Gentian. 

J. L. WILLIAMSON, Bethlehem, Pa Rennet and its Preparations. 

SAMUEL P. WRIGHT, Smyrna, Del Suppositories. 

The report of the Committee of Conference with the medical societies 
was read and accepted, and the Committee discharged. 

To the President of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. 

Sir : — At a meeting of the Joint Committee of physicians and phar- 
maceutists appointed to consider the subject of Legislation in reference 
to the adulteration and deterioration of drugs, held at the Hall of the 
College of Physicians last evening (29th inst.), the Secretary was di- 
rected to transmit to the Chairman of each Society represented in the 
Joint Committee a copy of the following resolutions, together with a copy 
of the " Draft of a proposed Law " therein referred to : 

"■Resolved, That the Joint Committee appointed by the College of 
Physicians, the State Medical Society, the County Medical Society, and 
the College of Pharmacy, respectfully advise the several bodies which 
they represent that, in their opinion, the draft of a law proposed and 
considered by the American Pharmaceutical Association embodies a 
better plan than any other which has been brought to their notice for the 
suppression of adulteration and sophistication of drugs and medicines." 

'■Resolved, That the expression of opinion of the Joint Committee in 
the resolution just adopted, refers exclusively to those sections of the 
'Draft of a Proposed ] ' which relate to the adulteration and sophis- 
tication of drugs and medicines. 

The above resolutions are extracted from the minutes, and were adopted 
by the Joint Committee as their final action in reference to the subject 
under consideration, after which the Committee adjourned ' sine die.' 

Alfred B. Taylor, 

Secretary of the Joint Committee. 

Philadelphia, Dec. mh, 1869. 

Prof. Joseph Carson, M.D., was elected an honorary member, and 
Charles Bauer an active member of the College. 

The Treasurer of the late Building Committee was directed to pay the 
balance to his credit to the Chairman of the Sinking Fund Committee. 

The reports of Committee on revision of the Pharmacopoeia, of Publi- 
cation Committee and of the Committee on Latin Labels were read and 

To the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy : 

The Committee appointed by the College on the Revision of the United 
States Pharmacopoeia respectfully report — 

That shortly after their appointment the committee met for organiza- 
tion, when the general committee was divided into sub-committees, each 
consisting of three members. The different parts of the Pharmacopoeia 
were apportioned amongst these committees for consideration and report. 
The various sub-committees have, from time to time, reported to the 
general committee, when their reports have been discussed and amended, 
and either rejected or adopted. 

The subject of weights and measures has been considered, and various 
propositions brought forward. It has been proposed to use avoirdupois 
instead of troy weight. The French system of decimal weights and 



measures has been proposed, and also the scheme of using parts instead 
of weights or measures. No ciiange has, however, been recommended 
by the committee. 

The committee have recommended the introduction of various new 
preparations, and the abandonment of some that are now officinal. 
Among those introduced are various chemical substances, extracts, solid 
and fluid ; lozenges, ointments and suppositories. Some of the piepara- 
tions now officinal have been transferred to the list," among which may 
be specified "ether," "sulphate of cinchouia," "sulphate of quinia," 
" santonin " and " valerianic acid " 

Improvements have been made in formulas, new tests have been in- 
troduced, and many minor changes have been made, with the view of ex- 
plaining or improving processes that were ditficnlt or unsatisfactory. 

The committee are unable, at the present time, to hand in a complete 
report, since there are in the charge of the different sub-committees 
various unfinished reports ; and \ve would, therefore, respectfully ask that 
our report might be adopted, and the committee be authorized to add to 
it such matters as they may deem proper, so as to have it completed in 
time for presentation to the Pharmacopoeia Convention, which will meet 
in Washington, in May next. 

Alfeed B, Taylor, 
I Chairman of Committee. 

March 28th, 1870. 

The Committee on Sinking Fund reported receipts to the amount of 
$2,669, and that they had paid interest on mortgage of $150, and on ac- 
count of principal of mortgage of $2,500, leaving in their hands $19. 

The annual election for officers being ordered, the following were 
elected : 

President, Dillwyn Parrish. 

1st Vice-President, William Procter, Jr. 

2d Vice-President, Robert Shoemaker. 

Recording Secretary/, Charles Bullock. 

Corresponding Secretary, Alfred B. Taylor. 
Treasurer, Ambrose Smith. 


Robert Bridges, M. D., Charles L. Kberle, T. M. Perot, 

S. S. Bunting, James T. Shinn, Danl. S. Jones, 

John M. Maisch, T. S. Wiegand. 

Librarian, T. S. Wiegand. 

Editor, William Procter, Jr. 

Publishing Committee. 
Charles Ellis, J. M. Maisch, ^A. B. Taylor. 

W. Procter,Jr., T. S. Wiegand. 

Curator, Thomas S Wiegand. 

Sinking Fund. 

T. S. Wiegand, T. M. Perot, James T. Shinn. 

On motion it was resolved that the meetings of the College hereafter 
be held in the afternoon at 3^ P.M. 

T. S. Wiegand, Secretary pro temp. 



drMtonal !Dcpai1mcnL 

Pharmacopceia Convention of 1870. — The following official notice by 
Dr. Wood states what institutions have notified that officer of their in- 
tention to send delegates. Doubtless others will be represented who 
have failed to notify the President of the appointment of their dele- 

National Convention for Revising the Pharmacopoeia. — In compli- 
ance with a resolution of the National Convention for revising the 
Pharmacopoeia, directing that the names of the delegates announced to 
the President of the Convention as having been appointed to attend the 
Convention, to meet on the first Wednesday of JVlay next, at Washing- 
ton, be made public in the newspapers and naedical journals in March, 
the following names of delegates are now published, with the date at 
which their appointment was made known to the President, in the order 
of their announcement: 

May 27. 1869. St. Louis Medical College— A. Litton, M.D., J. S. B. 
Alleyne, M.D. 

June 6, 1869. Maryland College of Pharmacy — Wm. S. Thompson, 
J. Paris Moore, Louis Dohme. 

June 6, 1869. Missouri Medical College — Chas. 0. Curtman, M.D. 

June 25, 1869. St. Louis College of Pharmacy— 0. F. Potter, M.D., 
Hubert Primm, M.D.. Eugene L. Massott. 

June 25, 1869. Chicago College of Pharmacy — Albert E. Ebert, 
Henrv Biroth, C. Lewis Diehl. Alternates— Jas. W. Mill, F. Mahla, 
Ph. D-, Louis Strehl. 

August 9, 1869. Jefferson Medical College— John B. Biddle, M.D., 
B. Howard Rand, M.D. 

Dec. 9, 1869. Medical Society of District of Columbia — Thos. Anti- 
sell, M.D., C. H. Lieberman, M.D., B. F. Creng, M.D. 

Jan. 11, 1870. Medical College of Virginia— J. S. Wilford, M.D., R. 
S. J. Peebles, M.D. 

Jan. 20, 1870. Massachusetts College of Pharmacy — Geo. F. H. Mar- 
koe. Samuel M. Culcord. 

Feb. 1, 1870. Medical Society State of New York— Caleb Green, 
M.D., Wm. Manlius Smith, M.D., Edward R. Squibb, M.D. 

Feb. 3, 1870. College of Phvsicians of Philadelphia— Geo. B. Wood, 
M.D., Robert Bridges, M.D., H. C. Wood, M D. 

Feb. 15, 1870. College of Pharmacy of the City of New York — Wm. 
Hegeman, Wm. Neergaard, P. W. Bedford. Alternates — Theobold 
Frohwein, Augustus W. Weismann, Geo. C. Close. 

Feb. 16, 1870. National Medical College (Medical Department of 
Columbia College), Washington — Geo. W. Dore, M.D., John C. Riley, 

March 10, 1870. Medical Department of the University of Pennsyl- 
vania — Jos. Carson, M.D., Robt E. Rogers, M.D. 

March 18, 1870. Philadelphia College of Pharmacy — Wm. Procter, 
Jr., Prof. John M. Maisch, Alfred B. Taylor. 

The following letter has been received by the President, offering the 
use of a hall for the meeting and subsequent sittings of the convention: 



1407 New York Ayenue, 
WASHiNaTON, D. C, Feb. 16, 1870. 

Prof. George B. Wood, M.D. 

My Dear Doctor — It affords me pleasure to inform you that at a re- 
cent meeting of the faculty of the National Medical College (Med. Dept. 
of Columbia College, Washington), the following resolution was unani- 
mously adopted : 

Resolved, That the Dean be instructed to tender to Prof. George B. 
Wood, the President of the Convention to revise the PharmacopcBia, 
held in 1860, the college buildings for the meeting to be held in May, 
1870, and to make the necessary arrangements therefor. 

The building is centrally situated, in the vicinity of the principal hotels, 
and is well suited for the purpose. 

Respectfully, your obedient servant, 

John C. Riley, 
Dean of Faculty of National College. 

Proposed Congress of Colleges of Pharmacy in relation to Educa- 
tion. — The following circular, issued by the Maryland College of Phar- 
macy, is deserving of attention : 

At a stated meeting of the Maryland College of Pharmacy, held April 
14th inst., the following resolution was unanimously adopted : 

''Resolved, That a committee of five be appointed to request the several 
Pharmaceutical Associations of the United States to send delegates to a 
Convention, proposed to be held in the city of Baltimore in September 
next, at the time of the meeting of the American Pharmaceutical Asso- 

The purpose being to consult and determine upon the best uniform 
course of study for those learning the profession of pharmacy, and to 
recommend the same for adoption in the Schools of the several Associa- 
tions they represent, to the end that there may be an uniform standard of 
qualification for all graduating in pharmacy." 

Baltimore, April 21, 1870. 

The undersigned Committee, in performing the duty assigned them, 
take pleasure in directing your attention to the foregoing resolution ; be- 
lieving that the importance of the matter in hand will commend itself to 
your favorable consideration, we most respectfully request you to send 
delegates to said Convention. 

The Convention will meet at the Hall of the Maryland College of 
Pharmacy, and its sessions be so fixed as not to interfere with attendance 
at the sessions of the American Pharmaceutical Association. 

The Maryland College of Pharmacy has appointed five delegates to 
said Convention, three of whom are professors in our College. 

Be kind enough to acknowledge the receipt of this, and also notify the 
Committee promptly of your action in the premises. 

Jos. Roberts, J. F. Hancock, 

J. Brown Baxley, J as. S. Stevenson, Jr., 
A. P. Sharp. 

Chicago College School of Pharmacy. — In the April number of the 
Pharmacist the Editor authoritively announces the organization of a 
faculty under the auspices of the College, consisting as follows : 

J. V. Z. Blaney, A.m., M.D., Prof, of Chemistry and Toxicology. 

George M. Hambright, Pharmaceutist, Prof, of Materia Medica. 



John H. Rauch, M.D., Prof, of Botany. 

N. Gray Bartlett, Pharmaceutist, Prof, of Theory and Practice of 

The fees for tuition are : For matriculation, $2 ; lectures, including all 
the branches taught, S30 ; diploma fee, $5. 

This effort has our best wishes, and, seconded by the well known energy 
of its supporters, we have no doubt that it will prove a success. The 
adoption of as high a standard of preparation as possible to be practicable 
will be wise, especially in view of the probable changes which may arise 
from the proposed Congress of Colleges proposed by the Maryland 

Pharmacy in New J ersey — The initiative in the late movement towards 
organizing the pharmaceutists of New Jersey appears to have been taken 
at Newark, N. J., by a call published in the newspapers of that city call- 
ing for a joint meeting of physicians and druggists to draft a law " to 
regulate the sale of poisons." At that meeting (Jan. 26th) a committee 
was appointed to notify all the druggists in the State of an adjourned 
meeting to be held at Newark on the 17th of February. At the meeting 
then held the Committee reported a draft of a law, based on that of the 
Chicago meeting. About sixty druggists were present, and the proposed 
law discussed, amended and approved, and a committee appointed to 
present it to the Legislature. This law makes a State Society a necessity. 
The meeting adjourned to Feb. 24th, same place, to perfect the organiza- 
tion of the " New Jersey Pharmaceutical Association." This was ac- 
complished, a Constitution and By-Laws were adopted, and officers 
elected for the ensuing year, and the meeting adjourned to meet in Tren- 
ton March 24th, at ]0| o'clock, A.M. The meeting at Trenton took 
place, but at this writing we have not been informed of its results. 

Pharmacy in Europe. — The following information, which has been 
gathered from Pharmaceuttsch Zeitung and other journals, possesses 
more or less interest. The law of 21 Germ., XII, created in France 
three pharmaceutical schools, — at Paris, at Strassburg, and at Montpel- 
lier, — for the education and examination of apothecaries of the first class. 
Apothecaries of the second class were examined by a medical jury (one 
being located in each department), and could establish themselves in 
business only in the department in which they had been examined. In 
the departments of Seine, Herauet, and Bas Rhin, containing the phar- 
maceutical schools, pharmaciens of . the first class only could carry on 
business. The law of August 22, 1854, discontinued the Juries Medicates 
and established twenty-one preparatory schools for medicine and phar- 
macy, where pharmaciens of the second class are examined. These may, 
however, submit to an examination for the same degree at one of the 
pharmaceutical schools. In regard to the location of these pharmaciens, 
the Minister of Education, by a decree of Dec. 23, 1854, sustained the old 
law, but this decree was abrogated Nov. 30, 1867, by Minister of Educa- 



tion Durug. After this the second class apothecaries commenced to enter 
business in the three cities named, which called forth a remonstrance from 
those of the first class, which not having effect on the Council of State, 
the case was taken to the Courts, — which tribunal, on the 19th of Feb., 
1870, condemned six second class apothecaries to close their stores 
within two weeks after the publication of the decision, under a penalty of 
twenty-five francs for every day's delay, and to costs. 

The City Council of Hymmegen, in Holland, has granted to the Arts- 
enijmengkundige Vereeniging of that city the use of the laboratory and 
apparatus of the High School, with an annual subsidy. The Society has 
opened a pharmaceutical school to prepare clerks for the States examina- 
tion. The biennial course embraces pharmaceutical botany, pharmacog- 
nosy, pharmacy and toxicology. 

The Swiss apothecaries are considering the revision of the Pharmaco- 
poeia of Switzerland ; they had a meeting at Olten on the 2l8t of March, 

The plan to establish a University in Siberia is again under considera- 
tion by the Russian authorities. Several exiles having remained in Si- 
beria after their terms of banishment had expired, have signified their 
willingness to accept professorships, to submit to the requisite examina- 
tions, and to perfect themselves in the languages of that country ; among 
them are ten literati who studied at German Universities, and eight 

The elaboration of a new edition of the Pharmacopoeia is to be en- 
trusted to a special committee by the Federal Council of North Germany. 

A case of poisoning by prussic acid vapor occurred in a chemical 
manufactory at Brussels by the fracture of a bottle containing 800 
grammes of the poison. He was restored by dilute chlorine water and 
ammoniacal embrocations. A dog in the room at the time died from the 
effects of the vapor inhaled. 

Chemical Mask. — Our attention has been called to a mask to protect 
the face, lungs and eyes from injury during chemical manipulations, es- 
pecially in industrial processes, called Butcher's Artizau's Safety Mask 
and Respirator, gotten up by Mr. B. F. Butcher, of Philadelphia. It 
consists of a metallic mask for the upper part of the face, with glass eye- 
pieces. Attached to the lower portion is a silk sack, to include the chin 
and beard when worn. The edges of the metal have sponge sewn con- 
tinuously around, projecting towards the face, and which is to be wet 
when the mask is worn. As this ring of sponge includes only the nose, 
the air inspired should be drawn through that organ, which causes it to 
pass through the pores of the sponge, and on this filtering action depends 
the value of the arrangement, — the lungs being emptied by way of the 
mouth. Its use is suggested for operatives in white lead factories, in 
powdering establishments, paper-hanging factories, where dust is the 
noxious agent, and in chemical works, where explosions and noxious 
absorbable gases are avoided. 



French Justice. — A F aris pharmacien has been subjected to a fine 
of ODG hundred francs, with costs, or to be imprisoned for forty days, as a 
penalty for supplying in a prescription a bottle of vin. cinchonse of the 
French Codex, instead of " Seguin's cinchona wine." dditional to this, 
the unfortunate apothecary was compelled to have a copy of the judgment 
displayed on his door, and at the shops of nine other pharmaciens re- 
siding near him. 

HoKORs TO Parisian Chemists. — M. Wurtz, chemist of Paris, has been 
elected Yice-President of the Academy of Medicine for 1870, and M. 
Bouis has been appointed to the chair of Toxicology in the Upper School 
of Pharmacy at Paris. 

Errata. — Our readers are particularly requested to correct an annoy- 
ing little error of the press in the article on Liquid Pepsin, by Mr. E. 
Scheffer, in the last number, at page 98, line 19 from top. Instead of the 
words, "possessing a faint and disagreeable odor," it should read, " pos- 
sessing a faint, not disagreeable odor." The correction is so easily made 
that it should be done at once. Also, at page 134, article Sulpho-carbo- 
late of Soda, at line 7 from top insert the words "of each" before the 
figures " 16," so as to read, "Take of pure crystallized carbolic acid, 
(Calvert's), Sulphuric acid sp. gr. 1-84, of each 16 troy ounces." 

The Dis'pensatory of the United States of America, ly George B. Wood, 
M.D., ^c, 4^., ^c, and Frankliyi Bache, 3I.D., 8fC., ^c. Thirteenth 
edition, carefully revised. Philadelphia, J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1870. 
Pp. 1810, octavo. 

When the twelfth edition of the Dispensatory was printed the work was 
stereotyped, and there was every prospect that a long time would elapse 
before a new revised edition would be forthcoming, but so rapid has been 
its sale, and so much new matter has been presented demanding notice, 
not forgetting the second edition of the British Pharmacopoeia, that the 
author's well known thoroughness would not permit him to allow a further 
use of the plates before the work was revised ; a labor of such magnitude 
as to have engaged him most of his time for more than a year, — not esti- 
mating the very considerable contributions towards it gradually accumu- 
lating on his hands since the previous edition issued. As the revision 
applies to the entire work, the additions enter into a large number of the 
articles, so that it is extremely difficult to give any idea of the added 
matter in a brief notice. Yery much of this matter is in the form of foot- 
notes, in small print. 

The changes in the British Pharmacopoeia have added much to this 
work, so many articles having been restored that were omitted in the 
first edition of that code. The author has spared no pains to bring in 
all the recent information up to the time of printing each article, and 
where such notices are not found it is due to the article appearing too 
late. Even chloral has a place in the appendix, though first announced 
as a hypnotic long after the printing of the book had commenced. 



Although about one-tenth larger, the book is not thicker, which has 
arisen from the use of paper strongly calendered, so as to condense its 
bulk and increase its smoothness, — which, together with its clear type, 
will render the work increasedly acceptable to the American apothecary 
and physician. 

Michigan University Medical Journal, conducted by the Faculty of 
the Medical Department, Ann Arbor, Mich. : Monthly. March, 1870, 
Yol. I, No. 1, pp. 64. 

This new medical monthly is placed on our list of exchanges. The 
managing editors are Drs. Henry S. Cheever, Preston B. Rose, Albert 
H. Prescott, and George E. Frothinghara. The editors enter the lists 
in good spirits. Their number is formidable. If they can render their 
efforts homogeneous, and direct them to the purposes set forth in their 
initial editorial, they will benefit medicine, advance their institution, and 
reap personal honor. 

In the April number, received since the above was written, Dr. Pres- 
cott has an excellent essay, entitled *' Pharmaceutical Chemistry in its 
Relations to Medical Practice," and discusses the relations of Pharmacy 
to medicine. The following paragraph occurs : 

''The relations which exist between the professions of medicine and 
pharmacy are peculiarly intimate. To a considerable extent identical 
preparatory studies are required for each ; chemical science is fundamental 
to each : botany is valuable to each. The pharmaceutist must traverse 
the larger portion of the field of therapeutics and hygiene, and the phy- 
sician must obtain acquaintance with pharmaceutical processes. It is 
true that after a time the student of pharmacy diverges upon a clearly 
marked path from the broader field of medicine ; but when he enters the 
practice of his vocation, he returns to labor with the physician in every 
province of the healing art. The eye and the hand are not more closely 
connected in action than are the physician and pharmacist in the daily 
performance of duties for a common object." 

Dr. Prescott considers this division of labor, and queries whether the 
responsibility is divided also? He takes the ground that in the present 
state of pharmaceutical practice, the physician is responsible in so far as 
he can direct his prescriptions to qualified pharmaceutists, and that he 
will continue to be so until "the pharmaceutist has an independent 
standing as an educated expert — a standing certified by diploma upon 
competent authority — then the physician becomes warranted in saying, 
am not responsible for his branch of our profession.'" 

The importance of chemistry as the ground work of pharmacy is 
strongly urged, and, with due allowance for Dr. Prescott's predilections 
for his favorite science, he offers many strong arguments why pharma- 
ceutists should aim at a higher qualification and a more thorough prepa- 
ration for their responsible duties. 

Thk California Medical Gazette continues in its March issue " The Flora 
of Sa.n Francisco," devoting eight pages in each number. When complete 
it will be an interesting contribution to the literature of botany. 



The Archives of Ophthalmology and Otology. Edited and published sim- 
ultaneously in English and German, by Prof. H. Knapp, M.D., in New 
York, and Prof. S. Moos, M.D., in Heidelberg. Vol. I, No. 1. New 
York: William Wood & Co. Carlsruhe : Ohr. Fr. MuUer'sche Hof- 
buchhandlung, 1870. pp. 364, octavo, with eight lithographic plates, 
several of them colored. 

Eeceived from the publisher just as v?e are closing our columns. The 
work is elegantly gotten up and illustrated. It consists entirely of origi- 
nal articles, contributed by German and American writers, and is pub- 
lished half yearly, simultaneously at New York, in English, and at 
Carlsruhe, in German. It undoubtedly possesses many claims to the 
attention of medical and surgical readers. Price $7 a year. 

On the Physical Basis of Life. By T. H. Huxley. LL. T)., F. R. S. 

New Haven, Conn.: Charles C. Chatfield. pp. 35, 12mo. 

This pamphlet is the reprint of a discourse originally delivered in 
Edinburg, November 18, 1868, and subsequently published in London in 
the Fortnightly Review. It deals with what has been called the new 
philosophy, in reference to organic life, and involves points of discussion 
which many approach with fear of a materialistic tendency to the doc- 
trine of necessity ; but the author repudiates that any such charge can 
be truthfully made in regard to his views. The nature of that which 
occurs in a single organic cell of a vegetable organism, by which car- 
bonic acid water, and ammonia are converted into protein, or "proto- 
plasm," as the author calls it; or in the cell of an animal organism, by 
which dead organic matter is converted also into protoplasm, is the 
question at issue. The highest organisms are but aggregates of cell 
action. Living matter is mineral matter under the influence of cell 
action. The action in an animal cell can only be sustained by the con- 
sumption of matter previously organized by cell action, 'whilst the vege- 
table ceil is endowed with the power of transforming mineral into organic 
matter. The brain is the organ designed by the Creator to manifest 
intellect; it is a congeries of cells in ceaseless action. All cell action is 
attended by waste and growth. The act of thinking must, therefore, 
occasion waste, or excretion of substance, to be recuperated by growth 
or accretion. It therefore follows that the manifestation of thought and 
emotion are coincident with and dependent on cell action. But life in 
the cell is to us as wonderful and as inscrutable as life in a complex 
organism, and Almighty power as manifest in the one as the other. 

The Arts, devoted to Science and Arts. A monthly journal by Joseph M. 
Hirsh, Ph.D., Chicago, ill. Vol. I, No. 1 ; pp. 18, quarto. Price one 
dollar per annum. 

This new enterprise, if judged by the first number, promises to be an 
interesting and useful publication, embracing a variety of topics. The 
price places it within the reach of a large number, and it merits a gener- 
ous support. The frontispiece is a lithograph of the late Prof. Thomas 
Graham, of London. 



Modern Therapeutics ; a compendium of recent formulcB and specific 
therapeutical directions. By George H. Naplieys, A.M., M.D., &c. 
Philadelphia. S. W. Butler, M.D., 1870; pp. 390, 12mo. 
This formulary consists largely of recent prescriptions. Its groups are 
arranged from the therapeutical standpoint, — a feature rather unusual, — 
and, accompanied as they are by explanations bearing on treatment, are 
well calculated to prove useful to the physician in the selection of a 
remedy in cases where the treatment is not obvious. The prescriptions 
of many prominent physicians, as well at home as abroad, are presented, 
and give a freshness to the work that must address itself especially to the 
young practitioner. The price of the book is $2.25. 

Paris Universal Exposition, 1867. Reports of the U. S. Commissioners. 
The progress and condition of several departments of industrial chem- 
istry. By J. Lawrence Smith, U. S. Commissioner. Washington, 
Government Printing Office, 1869. 

The notice already taken of the industrial products and processes of 
Glass 44 of the Paris Exposition (see vol. ), makes it un- 

necessary to say much in regard to this Report, which is chiefly devoted 
to the heavy branches of chemical manufactures, as sulphuric acid, soda 
salts, potash and its salts, chlorine products, coal tar products and sa- 
ponification. The report contains much interesting information, most of 
which, however, has already transpired through the journals. 

Half - Yearly Compendium of Medical Science. Part Y. January, 1870. 

S. W. Butler, M.D., 115 South Seventh St., Philadelphia. 

The Compendium, though rather behind time, contains the usual amount 
of useful information, gathered from about seventy-three different jour- 
nals, and presented in nearly three hundred articles from sixty-nine Ame- 
rican and two hundred and sixty-six foreign writers. Price $3 per annum. 

Annuaire de Therapeutique, de Matiere Medicale de Pharmacie et de 
Toxicologic pour 1870, etc., par A. Bouchardat, Prof, d'hygiene a la 
Faculte de Medecine de Paris, etc. Paris, Germer Bailliere, 1870 ; pp. 
301, 18mo. 

This is the thirtieth year of this useful little French annual, which 
makes its appearance regularly, and embraces a variety of articles of in- 
terest to the physician and pharmaceutist. 

Letheomania ; the result of the hypodermic injection of morphia (from 

the Pacific Med. Jour.) By Henry Gibbons, M.D. 

This is a cautionary paper addressed to physicians, urging moderation 
in the use of this form of medication with narcotics, and especially to 
avoid the placing of its application in other than professional hands. 

Valedictory Address to the Graduating Class at the Jefferson Medical 
College, by Prof. J. Aitken Meigs, at the 45th Commencement. 

Finances of Pennsylvania. Report of the Auditor-General of the Com- 
monwealth of Pennsylvania for the year ending November 30, 1869. 
Harrisburg, 1870. pp. 191. 



Annual Address of the Hon. Charles P. Daly, LL.D., President, deliv- 
ered before the American Geographical and Statistical Society, Jan. 
25, 1870. New York, 1870; pp. 46. 

This is a highly interesting resume of the leading facts and discoveries 
relating to geographical science, giving a connected account of the 
various efforts recently made and making to extend the bounds of the 
known and well defined on the earth's present surface. 


Dr. Joseph Redtenbacher, Professor of -General and Pharmaceutical 
Chemistry in the University of Vienna, Austria, died in that city March 5. 

On the same day and in the same city, died Franz Beckert, apothe- 
cary, and Director of the Austrian Apothecaries' Society, in his 74th 

The celebrated botanist Franz Unger, born in Styria in 1800, was 
found dead in his bed at Graz, Austria, on the 13th of February. Having 
been indisposed for some time, it was supposed that he got up during the 
night, wounded the back of his head by a fall, went to bed again, and ex- 
pired through paralysis of the brain. Subsequently foul play was sus- 
pected, and a near relative of the deceased was accused of the murder. 
The committee of the Vienna medical faculty, consisting of the Profess- 
ors Dumreicher, Schroff and Dlauby, reported against the theory of death 
by violence. 

Fred. Julius Otto, Professor of Technical Chemistry and Pharmacy 
in the Collegium Carolinum at Brunswick, Germany, died there on the 
12th of January last. Born in Saxony Jan. 8th, 1809, he became a phar- 
macist, but soon devoted himself to teaching chemistry, and in 1833 ac- 
cepted a call to Brunswick, where he remained until the time of his death , 
In 1837 he published his first work, "On the Rational Practice of the 
Technical Arts ;" in 1852 — 56 his celebrated work on Chemistry, based 
upon Graham's Ekments of Chemistry; in 1856, "On the Detection of 
Poisons ;" in 1857, On the Manufacture of Vinegar." Numerous essays 
of his are scattered through various chemical journals. In his death 
pharmacy has lost one of her brightest disciples, and chemistry one of her 
most devoted experts. 

M. Fr. Kirschleger died on the 15th of November, 1869, in his 66th 
year, having been born on the 6th of January, 1804, at Munster (Haut 
Rhin). He was apprenticed to M. SufFert, of Ribeauville, as a pharma- 
cien. He also] studied for some time with M. Charles Nesler, Prof, of 
Botany and Pharmacien-in-Chief of the Civil Hospitals. In 1827 he went 
to Paris, and in 1828 sustained his thesis for the Doctorate. In 1834 he 
established himself at Strasburg, and afterwards became Professor of 
Botany at the School of Pharmacy there. 

The works of M. Kirschleger are chiefly botanical, and include a pro- 
droraus of the Flora of Alsace. In 1852 he commenced the publication 
of the Flora of Alsace, and continued it through several volumes. 



JULY, 1 8 7 0. 


The fifth decennial convention to revise the Pharmacopoeia of 
the United States, met in the hall of the National Medical Col- 
lege, Washington^ D. C, on Wednesday, May the 4th, at 10} 
o'clock, A. M. 

On motion of Dr. Miller, Secretary of the Convention of 1860, 
Dr. Carson, of Philadelphia, was called to the chair, and Dr. 
John C. Riley, of Washington, chosen Secretary pro tern. 

Dr. Miller moved that a committee of five be appointed to 
nominate permanent officers of the Convention, which was passed, 
and the chair appointed Dr. Squibb, of New York ; Dr. Ruschen- 
berger, United States Navy ; Mr. Colcord, Massachusetts ; Dr. 
Geo. M. Dove, Massachusetts, and Dr. Jenkins, Kentucky. 

Dr. Howard, of the District of Columbia, moved that the chair 
appoint a committee of credentials, to consist of five, which was 
carried, and the chair announced the committee as follows : Dr. 
F. Howard, District of Columbia ; Mr. Procter, Philadelphia ; 
Dr. R. Amory, Massachusetts ; Mr. Ebert, Illinois, and Dr. 
Maddux, Maryland. 

The committee reported the following delegates as duly ac- 
credited to this Convention : St. Louis Medical College — A. 
Litton, M. D., J. S. B. Alleyne, M. D. Maryland College of 
Pharmacy — W. S. Thompson, J. Faris Moore, Louis Dohme. 
Missouri Medical College — Charles 0. Curtman, M. D. St. 



Louis College of Pharmacy— 0. F. Potter, M. D., Hubert 
Primm, Eugene L. Massott. Chicago College of Pharmacy — 
Albert E. Ebert, Henry Biroth, C. Lewis Diehl. Jefferson 
Medical College— John B. Biddle, M. D., B. Howard Band, 
M. D. Medical Society District of Columbia — Thos. Antisel, 
M. D., C. H. Lieberman, M. D., B. F. Craig, M. D. Medical 
College of Virginia— J. S. Welford, M. D., B. S. J. Peebles, 
M. D. Massachusetts College of Pharmacy — Geo. L. H. Markoe, 
Samuel M. Colcord. Medical Society of New York — Caleb 
Green, M. D., TVilliam Manlius Smith, M. D., Edward B. 
Squibb, M. D. College of Physicians, Philadelphia — George B. 
Wood, M. D., Bobert Bridges, M. D, H. C. Wood, M. D. Col- 
lege of Pharmacy of City of New York — William Hegeman, 
William Neergaard, P. W. Bedford. National Medical College 
—Geo. M. Dove, M. D., Jno. C. Biley, M. D. Medical Depart- 
ment University of Pennsylvania — J. Carson, M. D., Bobert E. 
Bodgers, M. D. Philadelphia College of Pharmacy — William 
Procter, Jr., John M. Maisch, Alfred B. Taylor. College of 
Pharmacy of Baldwin University — Martin V. B. Clarke, M. D., 
Bobert D. Murray, M. D. Medical and Chirurgical Society, 
Louisville, Ky. — Dr. Thomas E. Jenkins. Baltimore Medical 
Association — Dr. T. Clay Maddux. Medical Department, 
Georgetown College — Dr. F. Hovfard, Dr. J. E. Morgan. War 
Department, Washington, D. C. — Chas. Smart, Surgeon. Navy 
Department, Washington, D. C. — W. S. W. Buschenberger, M. D. 
Washington University, Medical Department, Baltimore — Har- 
vey L. Boyd, M. D., Jas. E. Lindsay, M. D. Massachusetts 
Medical Society — Dr. S. A. Greene, Dr. Bobert Amory, Dr. 
John Borland. Maine Medical Association — Dr. Henry T. 
Cummings. Medical Department University, Buffalo — Charles 
A. Lee, M. D. Medical and Chirurgical Society, Maryland — 
Dr. W. J. C. Dubamel. Baltimore Medical Association — Dr. 
J. B. Uhler. 

Dr. E. Lloyd Howard, of Baltimore, and Dr. Thos. Miller, of 
District of Columbia, were invited to take seats in the Conven- 
tion and to participate in its deliberations. 

On motion of Dr. H. C. Wood, of Philadelphia, it was — 
Resolved, Th&i such, members of Congress of the two Houses as are 


graduates of regular medical schools shall be invited to attend the meet- 
ings of the Convention and participate in its deliberations, and also the 
Surgeon General, U. S. A., and Chief of Bureau of Medicine and Sur- 
gery, U. S. N. 

The committee to nominate permanent officers, reported as 
follows : President, Dr. Joseph Carson, Philadelphia ; Vice- 
Presidents, Dr. Thos. Miller, Washington, D. C, and William 
Procter, Jr., Philadelphia ; Secretary, Dr. John C. Kiley, 
Georgetown, D. C. ; Assistant Secretary, Dr. Jas. M. Morgan, 
Washington, D. C. 

The committee recommended that the Convention direct the 
Secretary to employ a stenographer to note the proceedings ; 
which report was unanimously adopted. 

[Owing to the constant engagement of the stenographic reporters at 
this time the Secretary was unable to procure one for the service of the 
Convention. — Editor.] 

Dr. Carson, on taking the chair, expressed his thanks to the^ 
body in a few touching and impressive remarks, and announced 
that the Convention was ready to proceed to business. 

Alfred B. Taylor submitted the report of the Committee of 
Revision and Publication of the United States Pharmacopoeia for 
1860 ; which was accepted. 

The President then called for written contributions from so- 
cieties, toward the revision of the Pharmacopoeia, when the fol- 
lowing were presented : Albert E. Ebert, from the Chicago 
College of Pharmacy ; H. C. Wood, M, D., from the College of 
Physicians, Philadelphia ; Wm. Hegeman, from the New York 
College of Pharmacy ; Alfred B. Taylor, from the Philadelphia 
College of Pharmacy ; J. Faris Moore, from the Maryland^ Col* 
lege of Pharmacy ; which were referred to a committee of five to 
report a plan for the revision of the Pharmacopoeia. 

On motion of Dr. Lee, it was ordered that all societies not 
prepared to report have permission to hand in their reports to 
the Committee of Revision. 

Th(3 President announced the following as the committee to 
report a plan to revise the Pharmacopoeia : Dr. Robert Bridges, 
William Procter, Jr., S. M. Colcord, and Drs. Walford and Lee. 

The Convention then adjourned to 10 o'clock to-morrow 



The Convention was called to order at 10 A. M., by Dr. Car- 
son, the President, and the minutes of the preceding day were 
read and approved. 

Dr. Howard, from the Committee on Credentials, reported 
the following additional delegates : Wm. K. Bowling, M. D., 
University of Nashville, Tenn. ; S. C. Chew, M. D., University 
of Maryland ; Silas L. Loomis, M. D., and Charles B. Purvis, 
M. D., Howard University Pharmaceutical College ; Frederick 
Horner, Jr., University of Virginia; Chas. H. Thomas, Woman's 
Medical College, Philadelphia. 

The chair presented a communication from the Missouri Medi- 
cal College ; which was referred to the Committee on Revision. 

Dr. Lee, from the Committee to Report a Plan to revise the 
Pharmacopoeia, submitted the following report : 

The committee appointed with instructions to report a plan 
for the revision of the United States Pharmacopoeia for the year 
1870, would respectfully report that they recommend the follow- 
ing resolutions for adoption by this Convention : 

1. Resolved, That a Committee of Revision and Publication be ap- 
pointed, to consist of fifteen members, including the President of this 
Convention as one, to which shall be referred all communications relating 
to the revision of the Pharmacopoeia, and three members shall form a 

2. Resolved, That this committee shall meet in the city of , and 

foe convened as soon as practicable by the President of the Convention 
for final organization. 

3. Resolved, That the committee shall be authorized to publish the 
work after its revision and to take all other measures that may be neces- 
sary to carry out the views and intentions of the Convention. 

4. Resolved, That if, in the judgment of the Committee of Revision, it 
should be^^ome necessary before the meeting of the Convention of 1880 to 
revise its labors, it is hereby authorized to publish a new edition. 

5. Resolved, That the expenses of the Committee of Revision shall be 
paid from the income of the copyright. 

6. Resolved, That measures of capacity be abandoned in the Phar- 
macopoeia, and that the quantities in all formulas be expressed both in 
weights and in equal parts by weight. 

7. Resolved, That in the revision of the officinal list and formulas the 
wants of the medical profession in all parts of the United States should 


be considered in reference to local peculiarities in climate and population, 
and for these reasons that the scope of the work be rather extended than 

8. Resolved, That the Committee of Revision shall have power to fill 
their own vacancies. 

9. Resolved, That after the completion of its labors the committee 
shall transmit a report of its proceedings to the Secretary of this Con- 
vention, to be laid before the next Convention. 

10. Resolved, That the fourteen remaining members of the Committee 
of Revision and Publication be selected by a nominating committee, 
formed of one delegate from each institution represented in this Con- 
vention, and of one from the army and navy, respectively, to be appointed 
by the President. 

The report was accepted, and on motion the resolutions were 
considered seriatim. 

Dr. Amory, of Massachusetts, offered the following amend- 
ment to the first resolution : to strike out the three last words, 
"form a quorum," and insert "be selected as a sub-committee, 
who shall report their revision before publication from time to 
time to the general committee, to be approved or amended, as 
they may determine ;" which was rejected. 

Dr. Loomis, of the District of Columbia, moved to strike out 
"fifteen members," and insert "one from each State repre- 
sented ;" which was rejected; and the resolution as reported by 
the committee was adopted. 

Mr. Colcord moved to fill the blank in the second resolution 
by inserting "Philadelphia;" which was agreed to; and the 
resolution was adopted. 

After a very interesting discussion the remaining resolutions 
were adopted without amendment. 

[The first resolution called forth much discussion, great diflference of 
opinion existing as to the number that should be appointed, it having 
been shown by experience that, practically, the work is done by the cen- 
tral members, at the place of publication. Having a paid editor, as in 
the case of the Brit. Pharm., was suggested, and also a working sub-com- 
mittee, who should report to a session of the whole committee for its 
final approval; but the resolution passed as offered. 

The 2d, 3d, 4th and 5th resolutions passed without much dissent. The 
sixth resolution, in reference to the abolition of the use of measures of 
capacity in the formulas of the Pharmacopoeia, was discussed freely, ad- 
vocated and opposed. Two of the Colleges had asked for the passage 


of such a resolution, and those who advocated it were of the opinion that 
the use of measures of capacity by Physicians in prescribing might be 
continued if they desired it. It was believed that the use of weights in 
all cases would add to the accuracy and increase the convenience of 
laboratory operations, and especially in the fluid extracts and such prepa- 
rations as require evaporation to a given extent. 

The seventh resolution, relative to the scope of the PharmacopcEia, was 
passed by a decisive vote after considerable discussion, showing that the 
view of the Convention was opposed to contracting the Materia Medica 
list. — Editor A. J. Ph.] 

Dr. Manlius Smith, of N. Y., oiFered the following as an ad- 
ditional resolution : 

11. Resolved^ That this committee are authorized to investigate any 
new medicine that may be brought forward in the future, and devise for- 
mulas for the appropriate preparations of it, and to publish such formulas 
in the American Journal of Pharmacy, and that these formulas shall 
thenceforth be considered official. 

Dr. Squibb moved to strike out the words Aynerican Journal 
of Fliarmacy which was carried. 

Dr. Loomis moved to strike out the words in the future 
wliich was agreed to, and the resolution, as amended, was 

Dr. Horner, of Virginia, moved the following : 

Whereas the abuse of medicines, the vehicle of which is alcohol, has 
proved injurious to the health of the community ; 

i?'erf, 1 hat the Convention for the revision of the Pharmacopoeia 
consider the expediency of reducing the number of alcoholic prepara- 
tions. [This resolution was not acted on,] 

The delegates from the various institutions represented were 
then called upon to name one of their number to serve on the 
nominating committee, and the following were announced: 
Maryland College of Pharmacy, William S. Thompson ; Chicago 
College of Pharmacy, Albert E. Ebert ; Medical Society of the 
District of Columbia, B. F. Craig, M. D. ; Medical College of 
Virginia, J. S. Welford, M. D. ; Massachusetts College of Phar- 
macy, S. M. Colcord ; Medical Society of New York, Caleb 
Green, M. D. ; College Physicians, Philadelphia, R. Bridges, 
M. D. ; College of Pharmacy City of New York, William Hege- 
raan; National Medical College District of Coluuibia, John C. 
Biley, M. D. ; Medical Department University of Pennsylvania, 
Joseph Carson, M. D. ; Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, Wil- 


liam Procter, Jr. ; College of Pharmacy, Baldwin University, 
R. D Murray, M. D. ; Medical and Chirurgical Society, Dr. T. 
E. Jenkins ; Baltimore Medical Association, Dr. Uhler ; Medical 
Department of Georgetown College, D. C, Dr. F. Howard; 
War Department, Dr. Smart ; Navy Department, Dr. Ruschen- 
berger ; Massachusetts Medical Society, Dr. Amory ; Maine 
Medical Association, Dr. H. T. Cummings ; BuflPalo University, 
New York, Dr. Charles A. Lee ; University of Nashville, Dr. 
William K. Bowling ; University of Maryland, Dr. S. C. Chew ; 
Howard University of the District of Columbia, Dr. Silas L. 
Loomis ; Women's Medical College, Philadelphia, Dr. Charles 
H. Thomas. 

A recess of thirty minutes was taken to enable the committee 
to meet. 

The committee, on reassembling, reported the following names 
as the Committee for the Revision of the Pharmacopoeia, in addi- 
tion to the Chairman, Dr. Carson : 

Dr. G. B. Wood, Alfred B. Taylor, John M. Maisch, Dr. 
Robert Bridges, Philadelphia ; Dr. Edward R. Squibb, New 
York city ; Albert E. Ebert, Chicago, 111. ; J. Paris Moore, 
Baltimore, Md. ; G. F. H. Markoe, Boston, Mass. ; Dr. John 
C. Riley, Washington, D. C. ; Dr. Thomas E. Jenkins, Louis- 
ville, Ky. ; Dr. Chas. A. Lee, Butfalo, N. Y. ; Dr. J. S. Wellford, 
Richmond, Va. ; Wm. F. Wentzell, San Francisco, Cal. ; W. S. 
W. Ruschenberger, for U. S. Army and Navy, Philadelphia. 

The report was accepted. 

Dr. Squibb tendered his resignation as a member of the Com- 
mittee of Revision, which was reluctantly accepted, and Dr. W. 
Manlius Smith, of New York, was elected to fill the vacancy 
thus created. 

Prof. J. M. Maisch also offered his resignation, owing to pres- 
sure of other duties, but the Convention being disinclined to 
accept it, he acquiesced in the appointment. 

Dr. Loomis, of Washington, moved that the rules adopted by 
the Convention of 1860 for the meeting in 1870 be adopted for 
the Convention in 1880, simply changing the dates ; which mo- 
tion was unanimously adopted. 

Dr. B. F. Craig, of Dist. of Columbia, offered the following: 



Resolved, That the Committee of Revision be instructed to include 
some part of the metrical system in the list of official weights and mea- 

The resolution was adopted, after a prolonged discussion, which 
did not give indication of a disposition to adopt the metrical 
system in the Pharmacopseia at present. 

Mr. Procter, of Philadelphia, offered the following, which was 
unanimously adopted : 

Resolved, That the thanks of this Convention are due to the Faculty of 
the National Medical College of the District of Columbia for the use of 
their building for the purposes of the Convention. 

The Convention, at 5 P. M., adjourned sine die. 

By Herman Koch. 
As the application of medicinal substances in the form of sup- 
positories seems to be growing in public favor, I beg leave to 
make a few suggestions for the benefit of such practitioners as 
are not supplied with metallic moulds, and may not possess facili- 
ties for obtaining the same. The following plan for obviating 
the use of the latter which I have followed for some time, gives 
a product of uniform size, shape and weight, and besides being 
cheaper than metallic moulds, possesses the additional advantage 
of never spoiling the product by splitting or detaching pieces 
from the sides. 

This is my plan : Take a piece of soft wood cut in the rounded 
conical shape of a suppository, allowing a portion of the wood 
in the centre to extend beyond the larger end as a handle ; roll 
a small square piece of waxed paper around the cone-shaped 
end of same, slanting off toward one of the corners. Secure 
j the latter by a drop of mucilage, and the point by a vigorous 
twist between the fingers. Remove the paper and lay aside un- 
til the mucilage is dry, then reinsert the Avooden cone, mark edge 
of same on the paper by encircling closely between thumb and 
forefinger, and lastly trim off close to said edge with a sharp 
knife. Keep the moulds thus formed in a cigar box, the lid of 
which has been perforated with two or three rows of small 



round holes, which will serve to keep them in a vertical position 
when used. I generally keep on hand three sizes of moulds, 
holding respectively one, two and three scruples, and mark the 
wooden cones accordingly. These moulds cannot be used more 
than once, but can be so readily reproduced that this is scarcely 
a disadvantage. 

Cincinnati, May, 1870. 


By E. Claassen, Apothecary. 

Already in the year 1865, before emigrating to this country, 
I prepared in Germany this crystalline substance from the plant 
above named. This plant, so common in Europe, grows in but 
few places of the Northern United States, particularly in the 
higher mountains of the New England States. 

By boiling the fresh plant with water and quick lime, precipi- 
tating the decoction with acetate of lead, filtering, treating the 
liquid with sulphuretted hydrogen, again filtering, evaporating to 
the consistency of syrup, and allowing the product to stand for 
several days, it assumes the form of a crystalline jelly, which 
being placed upon linen, so as to let the mother-liquor drain off, 
an'd then pressed, yields nearly colorless crystals, 
which are purified by dissolving them in boiling wa- r'^'T"^ 
ter, treating with animal charcoal, and crystallizing. | i 

The amount of vacciniin in the shrub is about 1 per ; 
cent. It forms long acicular crystals, of a somewhat 1 
bitter taste, and without any smell. In general, | j 

many of the crystals are united, forming fascicles, ^ j | 
but sometimes you may see them in the shape of four | 
or six-sided (probably rhombical) prisms, with two | 
sides, flattening their ends.* 1 j 

It is scarcely soluble in ether, pretty easily soluble 
in cold water and alcohol, but very easily in boiling 

*The sides represented by b are often so predominant as to be three 
times as large as those represented by a. 



water, so much so that the latter, having been saturated with vac- 
ciniin, after cooling yields a solid mass. 

Heated, it melts to a clear liquid, reduced to coal by stronger 
heat. Neither subacetate of lead nor tannin render any precipi- 
tate. Its reaction on litmus paper is neutral. The vacciniin 
also contains no nitrogen, for, melted with hydrate of potash, it 
produced no ammonia. Its elements will be, therefore, carbon, 
oxygen and hydrogen. 

All these properties make me believe that it belongs, like ar- 
butin, to the so-called " bitter substances." 


To the Editor : 

Bear Sir, — Having occasion to make Tr. Nux Vomica not long 
since, I made it in the usual way, according to the Pharmacopoeia 
— 4 troyounces nux vomica to a. pint of alcohol, using alcohol 
sp. gr. 0-835. I discovered something which I never saw or even 
heard anything of before. The subject is worth a little notice 
here, and the readers of the Journal may hear of something that 
will interest them, and throw light on the subject, in case they 
ever meet with the same. After making the tincture, I placed 
it away in its proper place. About two weeks after, I had occasion 
to use it, and was surprised to find deposited in the bottom of the 
bottle small, almost colorless crystals, octahedral in shape. Not 
knowing what they were, but judging from their appearance they 
were strychnia, I proceeded at once to examine them, being anx- 
ious to know what they might be. I filtered the tincture, and 
collected the crystals on a filter, dried and weighed them, and 
found them to weigh 3 grains. I applied the bichromate potash 
(KO,2Cr03) and sulphuric acid (SO3) test, which produced that 
purplish color characteristic of strychnia. I also examined it 
for brucia, and found it to give the faintest red color, using the 
nitric acid (NO5) test, thus proving that the crystals were nearly 
pure strychnia with a small quantity of brucia. Having some of 
the nux vomica left, I made an infusion with part of it, in order 
to find whether the nux vomica was alkaline or not, and found it 
to be decidedly so, using curcuma paper, turning it brownish ; it 



also restored litmus paper after being reddened by sulphuric acid 
(SO3). The cause of the formation of these crystals I believe is 
due to the alkalinity of the nux vomica. I had a very small 
quantity left, and examined it to see the amount of strychnia 
present, and found it to contain about 2 per cent., thus proving 
that the specimen was very rich in strychnia.* 
Yours respectfully, 

Geo. W. Kennedy. 

Pottsville, Pa., May 16, 1870. 


Chlorinated Lime. 
Editor of the American Journal of Pharmacy: 

Sir, — Every druggist has been more or less annoyed by his 
chlorinated lime getting moist (quite semi fluid sometimes), and 
consequently unsaleable. 

Allow me to recommend (after six months' trial) to keep the 
lime in WhitalV s patent fruit jars (410 Race St., Phila.) The lid is 
made to close air-tight, being kept down on a gum elastic ring by 
means of a clamp and screw. I filled ajar six months ago, and 
opened it daily, in order to expose the chlor. lime to the air as 
much as that kept in the usual way. I found it two weeks ago 
nearly as dry as when I filled it in, and the smell just as strong. 
I think the same class of jars would be just the thing to keep 
carbon, ammonia in. 

These jars are to be had in three sizes, viz., pints, quarts, 
half-gallons — sufficiently large for the quantity daily sold. 

* The author does not say to what the alkalinity of the nux vomica was 
due, but leaves us to infer that it was owing to the strychnia. As strych- 
nia only occurs in the saline state, it is probable that the particular lot of 
nux vomica treated had previously become mixed, accidentally, with al- 
kaline matter (potassa, soda, or ammonia) before he bought it, which dis- 
placed the strychnia and brucia. The greater solubility of the latter 
will readily account for its absence from the crystals. If the author has 
any of the drug left, he might verify or disprove this suggestion. — Editor 
Amer. Jour. Pharm. 



Extemporaneous Drop Machine. 

I have for some time been using the following method in 
" dropping," and gaining thereby uniformity in the size of drops 
(of the same liquid) I think it is worth a corner in your Journal, 
so much the more as every druggist has the machine at hand. 

I simply take a half ounce glass measure (graduated), measure 
off one drachm of the liquid, and drop from the measure. Every 
druggist has at least a one ounce measure. In always dropping 
from the same measure from a same quantity of liquid^ uni- 
formity will be insured. 

For obvious reasons the above method cannot well be applied 
to the dropping of essential oils. 

Very respectfully yours, H. M. W. 

Philadelphia, May 26, 1870. 


NOTE TO HAIR DYE, {^age 227 of May No.) 

Cairo, III., May Ath, 1870. 
Editor Journal of Pharmacy, Philadelphia : 

I saw this evening, for the first time, a notice from a party in 
New York who manufactures an article which he calls Egyp- 
tian Hair Coloring," cautioning persons who buy " hair-restor- 
ers," to have their druggists first test them for lead and mer- 
cury by means of potassa iodide, and as the preparation men- 
tioned in the article I sent you last month possesses the property 
of not yielding a precipitate on the addition of that salt, you 
would oblige me, if it is not too late, by adding to or inserting in 
the article in question the remarks enclosed with, this note. 

Yours respectfully, Geo. McDonald. 

(The reader will consider the following in connection with page 227 of 
the May number, it having arrived too late for the May number.) 

This preparation has the singular property of not indicating 
the presence of lead on the addition of iodide of potassium. 
When iodide of potassium is added to a solution of the ordinary 
salts of lead, a bright yellow precipitate of iodide of lead is im- 
mediately formed, but when added to this preparation, no change 
whatever ensues. The reaction is completely masked. Sulphuric 
acid, however, readily indicates the presence of the poison, by 
the formation of a heavy, white, insoluble precipitate of sulphate 
of lead. 



Editor of the American Journal of Pharmacy : 

Dear Sir : — In the May number of your Journal of Pharmacy 
is a communication from Dr. Robert Battey, in answer to a pre- 
vious one from myself, upon the subject of an impurity in tincture 
of iron. 

He states that the silky white needles that constitute the im- 
purity above mentioned, when tested before the blow-pipe and 
also by the wet-way, give the characteristic reactions of sulphate 
of lime. 

From what I had said upon the subject in the March number 
of the Journal of Pharmacy, it would naturally have been inferred 
that the substance in question was some one of the salts of lime, 
and, in fact, I ventured the conjecture that it was a silicate of 
that base, but did not investigate the matter sufficiently to de- 
cide upon its acid constituent, as I believed it to be from the 

I am happy to acknowledge the correctness of Dr. Battey's 
opinion, and agree with him that it is doubtless sulphate of limey 
and as there is some apparently contradictory views between us 
I will say that both may be made fully to coincide in most par- 
ticulars. I stated that my conviction was that the impurity 
arose from the action of the acid upon the glass vessel, and Dr. 
B. thought that it existed in the acid employed. In order to 
decide the matter I tested my acid (the same as I had used in 
preparing the tincture of iron when the crystals were produced.) 
I found that it contained sulphuric aeid in a small proportion, 
but no lime. 

Now it is plain that if commercial muriatic acid be employed, 
sulphuric acid will be a more probable impurity than sulphate of 
lime, but in either case the latter substance may be found in the 
tincture prepared from such acid. If sulphate of lime does or 
does not pre-exist in it, when tlie mixture is heated the sulphuric 
acid will act upon the glass and form sulphates of lime, potassa 
and soda, the former of which will remain dissolved with the rest 
while the solution is warm ; but will crystallize out on cooling. 

I am sure that the reaction is generally that of the acid upon 


the glass, as I before stated, and the apparent different modifica- 
tions of the impurity may be caused bj the different percentage 
of acid from which the crystals are deposited. Concerning the 
yellowish deposit, I am not certain that there is a necessary con- 
nection between it and the sulphate of lime ; but the precipita- 
tion of both must have been simultaneous in the case I wrote 

Yours very truly, J. C. Wharton. 

Nashville^ Tenn.^ June 11th, 1870. 

SYRUP OF SENEKA.— Correction. 
To THE Editor American Journal of Pharmacy : 

Bear Sir : — In my article on " Syrup Seneka," in the last 
number (May) of this Journal I discover three typographical 
errors, one of which, being in the body of the formula, it is im- 
portant to correct, viz. : at page 229, in the formula, instead of 
" White Sugar, in coarse powder, /oi^r troyounces," it should 
read White Sugar, in coarse powder," nine troyounces ; and 
at page 230, line 85 from top, I am made to say " I have varied 
that preference in this instance," instead of " I have waived that 
preference in this instance;" also at page 231, line 23 from top, 
the word serves is inserted instead of the word seems, as in the 
manuscript. Will you, therefore, be good enough to give this 
note a place in your valuable, and usually correct and reliable 
Journal, and oblige 

Yours respectfully, 

J. B. Moore. 

June, 1870. 

By Henry A. Bower. 

All pharmaceutists, I presume, have been annoyed (and that, 
too, at a time when it was most inconvenient to make this oint- 
ment up fresh) to find (when wishing to use it) instead of a 
fine red color, it had changed, chameleon like, to an olive-green 
or black. 



Long time ago I adopted the following formula, and have 
communicated it verbally to others, and my eyes have always 
been gladdened since to find it retain a rich brilliant salmon 
color, and I can safely say I have found it never looses its beau- 
tiful redness : 

Red Precipitate, . . , Ex 

Castor Oil, . . . . f^i 

Lard, . . . ' . . ^vii Troy 

Yellow Wax, opt. (orange color) . ^ii " 


Melt the wax and the lard together and mix with the castor oil. 
On cooling, add the red precipitate in veri/ fine powder, stirring 
constantly with a wooden spatula until cold. 

Fliiladelphia, June V&th, 1870. 

By John M. Maisch. 

There is at the present time no civilized country, outside of 
the North American continent, in which the practice of medicine 
and of pharmacy is not regulated, at least to a certain degree. 
Throughout Europe and in the more populated districts of South 
America, a certain qualification is required of the pharmacists 
before they are allowed either to take the position of assistants 
or to assume the entire control of a pharmaceutical establishment. 
That the standard of qualification required in the various States 
must of necessity be very difi*erent, may be inferred from 
the political, commercial, and industrial history of these 
countries, and the general intelligence of their law-makers. 
It is not our purpose to criticise the various laws ; it is sufficient 
to point to the fact that, aside from the restrictions placed upon 
the opening of new establishments, which are usually based upon 
a certain ratio of population, and aside from certain police regu- 
lations, the great aim of the laws in all cases is to secure a cer- 
tain qualification ; and the higher this standard, the greater the 
security of the public against malpractices in every shape and 
form on the part of the pharmacist. No drug examiner — and if 



one was appointed for every store — could increase that security 
which is afforded by professional integrity, based upon a thorough 

Opinions may differ in regard to the proper means to secure 
it ; the machinery proposed by the American Pharmaceutical 
Association may be somewhat unwieldy and cumbersome ; it has 
already been simplified by the New Jersey Pharmaceutical 
Association, and Baltimore has secured a law which, if carried 
out in spirit, is well adapted to farther build upon.* 

With an experience of nearly two hundred years, f Prussia 
hcs continually endeavored to raise the standard of qualification 
of her apothecaries, and to educate them in accordance with the 
progress of science. Since the establishment of the North 
German Confederation under the guidance of Prussia, it has be- 
come necessary to harmonize the laws existing in the various 
smaller States, and accordingly it is contemplated to issue new 
laws for the government of practitioners of medicine and of 
pharmacy. The latter subject has been entrusted to a committee 
of prominent pharmacists of Northern Germany, who have 
adopted the draft of a law to regulate the practice of pharmacy 
in that country (Apotheken-Ordnung), which has been published 
in the German pharmaceutical periodicals, and from which we 
extract and condense that portion which is most interesting for 
this country, — the sections on the education (Ausbildung) of the 
apothecary, and on the right to conduct a store : 

1 14. An approbated apothecary only can be principal of a pharmaceu- 
tical establishment (Apolheken-Vorstand). 

1 15. The owner of the ofBcineJ shall also be the principal: in certain 
cases (provided for in the law), however, a lessee or agent (administrator) 
may be principal. 

* In January last a pharmacy and poison law was passed and approved 
in Rhode Island, which in its main features is identical with the draft 
recommended by the A.mer. Pharm. Assoc., but considerably simplified. 

t The first apothecary law in Prussia was promulgated in 1693. 

% We propose to use the word ofificine in this paper for pharmaceutical 
establishment. The Latin officina has been adopted in the French 
(I'officine) and the German (Officin) languages, and is undoubtedly more 
expressive for a complete pharmaceutical establishment than either 
apothecary's shop or store, and also more than office in the popular usage 
of this word. 



5 16. An apothecary who, for five years, has neither conducted an 
ofRcine nor acted as assistant, must, previously to becoming principal, 
prove his capability by another examination. 

5 19. No apothecary can own two or more separate officines ; on ac. 
quiring the ownership of a second ofticine the provisions of ^ 17 apply to 
him, except the right to lease it to another (^. e., he must appoint a quali- 
fied principal at once, and sell the business within a year). Neither can 
an apothecary conduct two or more officines at the same time. 

I 20. An officine may be owned by two or more persons, qualified to be 
principals, of whom, however, one only can be the responsible principal, 

A. The apprentice. 

5 25, Every principal may employ apprentices and assistants ; the right 
to have the former may under certain circumstances be forfeited 38). 

^26. The number of apprentices in each ofBcine may exceed one only 
the number of assistants ; principals not employing an assistant may have 
one apprentice. 

5 27 establishes the educational requirements of the apprentice, and 
I 28 the legal steps to be taken before entering upon the apprenticeship. 

^29. The duration of the apprenticeship is three years ; an abateraente- 
of six months may be granted by the district apothecary (Physikats-. 
Apotheker) to those only who previous to entering upon the apprentice* 
, ship have attained the qualifications requisite for attending the Univer-. 

I 30. The preceptor is charged with the instruction of his apprentices^ 
by practical precepts and exercises in technical pharmacy, and by 
thorough theoretical teaching of pharmacy and its collateral sciences, for 
which purpose he must be supplied with appurtenances commensurate 
to the requirements of science. Apprentices shall not be employed for 
services not connected with the apothecary business ; aside from the daily, 
labor, they must have sufficient time for private study, and, during sum- 
mer, for botanical excursions ; the preceptor has to insist on the prepara- 
tion by the apprentice of a systematic herbarium of the plants collected 
by him. He shall also require the apprentice to keep a journal of all 
preparations made by the pupil, under the direction of the preceptor or 
his assistant (for which special opportunity must also be afforded for the 
purpose of instruction), and to enter therein a short description of the 
operations and the theory of the chemical process. 

{ 31. At the termination of his apprenticeship to the satisfaction of his. 
preceptor, the apprentice is to be reported to the district apothecary for 

5 32. The examination for assistant, at which the preceptor is entitled, 
to be present, takes place before a commission consisting of the district, 
apothecary and district physician. 




? 33. The assistant's examination is to be practical and verbal, (a.) 
The main aim of the practical examination is to determine whether the 
functions of an assistant may be entrusted to the examinant, who has to 
read three prescriptions for different medicines, to prepare the same cor- 
rectly, and to price them (according to the legal valuation, denominated 
" tax ") ; also to prove his ability for the practical labors of the labora- 
tory, (b.) The verbal examination begins with the examination of some 
drugs and chemical preparations for their pharmacological determination, 
and of a number of fresh or dried indigenous plants for their recognition 
and terminological demonstration. The examinant shall then translate 
at least two paragraphs from the Pharmacopoeia (which is published in 
Latin). This is to be followed by the examination in the fundamental 
principles of botany, natural philosophy and pharmaceutical chemistry, 
and finally in the legal enactments concerning the duties, &c., of pharma- 
ceutical assistants. 

^ 34. The entire examination is to be completed within one day; as a 
rule, the verbal examination shall not exceed the time of three hours. 

^ 35 directs the keeping of minutes of the examination, and in case of 
disagreement of the members of the commission, to submit the case to the 
decision of a superior authority. 

I 36. The examinant is responsible for the expenses connected with the 
examination ; each member of the commission receives three thalers, be- 
sides travelling expenses. 

I 37. Each failure to pass the examination entails a prolongation of the 
apprenticeship for six months, after which another examination may take 
plac« ; those not passing the third examination will not be admitted to 

I 38. Should the preceptor be responsible for the insufficient knowledge, 
he will have to pay the costs of the examination, and may be deprived of 
|he right to employ apprentices. 

B. The Assistant. 

I 39. The testimonials of the preceptor and examination commission en- 
titles the holder to act as assistant in any ofBcine of Northern Germany. 

I 40. Assistants qualified in Southern Germany have the same privi- 
lege ; foreigners must have previously passed the prescribed examination. 

? 41. The terms of engagement depend on the agreement between 
principal and assistant. 

I 42 refers to the mutual relations of principal and assistant. 

I 43. If empowered by the principal, or in his temporary absence (if' 
over a week, the district apothecary has to be notified), the assistant may 
act as the representative of the principal. The latter is directly respon- 
sible ; the former shares this responsibility, and is only free from the same 
if the act has been done by direct order of the principal. 



§ 44. At the expiration of the engagement, the principal shall give a 
certificate to the assistant. 

§45. The certificate is to be countersigned by the district apothecary, 
who likewise decides in cases of complaint. 

§46. An assistant has to serve as such at least three years, two of 
which must have been spent in German ofRcines. 

§47. After this time, an assistant has to study the pharmaceutical sci- 
ences at a German University for at least two courses (semesters). 

§48. To matriculate at the University, the pharmacist has to comply 
merely with the conditions applicable to students of whom a maturity 
testimonial is not required. 

* 0. The Pharmaceutical State's Examination. 

§49. The State's examination may take place before the examination 
commission of any North German University. This commission consists 
of a physicist, a chemist, a botanist and two pharmacists, appointed by 
the Chancellor of the Confederation. 

§50. Applications for examination during the summer session must be 
made in April, and during the winter session in November ; they must be 
accompanied, among other certificates, by the testimonials of apprentice- 
ship, clerkship, and attendance at University ; also by a short autobi- 

§ 51. The examination consists of the course and of the final examina- 
tion. Those only having passed the former can be admitted to the 

§ 52. The course examination is as follows : (a,) compounding of a pre- 
scription ; (b,) making of two pharmaceutical preparations; (c,) writing, 
in clausure, of an essay on a chemical and its mode of preparation ; (d,) the 
same on a subject of analytical chemistry ; (e,) a qualitative and a quanti- 
tative analysis; (f,) a forensic analysis for the detection of an inorganic 
poison ; (g,) verbal examination on (1) botany, (2) pharmacognosy, (3) 
pharmaceutical chemistry, (4) toxicology, (5) pharmaceutical laws. 

§ 53. The final examination, which is to be verbal and public, and to 
which not more than four candidates are to be admitted at one time, com- 
prises general and special botany, general chemistry in connection with 
mineralogy, and natural philosophy. 

§54 prescribes the keeping of minutes and the judgment (censur) on 
each branch, as well as the general censure. 

§55. The voting takes place by using the terms (1) excellent, (2) very 
good, (3) good, (4) bad or insufficient. As final censure, the first grade 
(excellent) can be given only on the candidate having attained in all 
branches at least the censure " very good ;" the second grade (very good) 
only if the majority of the special censures were " very good." 

§50. Repetitions of special examinations are admissable only according 



to the regulations of the Federal Medical Council. The censure *'bad" 
or " insufficient " makes a repetition of the examination necessary after at 
least six months ; failing to pass after two postponements (three exami- 
nations) is regarded as a definitive rejection. 

I 57. Immediately after the final examination, the final censure on the 
entire State's examination is determined, and the chairman reports the 
entire proceedings, including the documents of application and admission, 
to the Federal Medical Council. 

§ 58. Based upon the successful passing of the States examination, the 
federal medical council issues to the candidate the certificate of qualifi- 
cation (approbation) requisite for the conducting of the apothecary busi- 

D. The district Apothecary. 
I 59. The examination for eligibility as district apothecary (Pharma- 
ceutische Physikats Priifung) takes place before a chemist, a botanist 
and an apothecary, who are members of the states examination com- 

§ 60. Approbated pharmacists, having conducted an officine in Northern 
Germany for two years, may apply for this examination, which consists 

\ 61. A, in a treatise on some subject from the department of pharma- 
ceutical administration ; b, in an essay upon a theme of forensic analysis ; 
c, in a forensic analysis with quantitative determination of the poison 
and an argumentative report; d, in the determination of one or more 
substances by means of the microscope ; e, in a verbal examination on 
subjects from the same branches. 

§ 62 refers to the keeping of minutes, the censuring on each branch in 
the same manner as in ^ 55, and to the final censure, which is to be 
" passed," or " not passed," the former only if the examination of neither 
branch was rated " bad " or " insufficient." 

I 63. The repetition of the examination on one of the branches is in- 
admissible. A re-examination can take place after the lapse of at least 
a year. 

The passing of this last examination makes the pharmacist 
eligible into the various administrative bureaus. The district 
apothecary (Physikats Apotheker) is elected for five years, by 
the apothecaries of the larger counties (Kreise), or of several 
smaller counties ; the government (Regierungs) apothecary is 
appointed for a province ; the federal medical council (Bundes 
Medicinalbehbrde), subordinate to the federal chancellory, con- 
sists of physicians and pharmacists, with a lavi^yer as chairman ; 
strictly pharmaceutical affairs are decided by the pharmacists, 
and medical questions by the physicians only. 



By Charles Bullock. 

A case of death, resulting from an overdose of strychnia, 
occurred recently in Pennsylvania under circumstances which 
render the case interesting and instructive to both medical prac- 
titioner and pharmaceutist. 

The patient had been laboring under an attack of partial 
paralysis, and the medical attendant directed the following 
prescription : 

R Strychnias Muriat: gr. iss. 

Liq: Ferri lodid ; 5vj. 
Syr: Zingiberis q. s. ut ft: f^iij- 


Sig. dose a teaspoonful. 

The whole of this prescription was used as directed, and the 
bottle returned to the druggist, by order of the physician, for 
renewal of the medicine, the dose on renewal being increased to 
one and one-half teaspoonful. This was taken with apparent 
benefit to the patient, until the last dose, exhausting the contents 
of the bottle, was given. About an hour after, while at a meal, 
the patient complained of strange sensations, and was soon 
affected with tonic spasms, which are described by two medical 
gentlemen, who were called in, as well marked results of an over- 
dose of strychnia. Proper remedies were promptly used and 
the spasmodic action passed away, leaving the patient able to 
speak, but greatly prostrated, and failing to respond to stimulants 
death ensued in a few hours. 

The bottle which contained the medicine w^as produced before 
the coroner's jury (composed of physicians and pharmaceutists). It 
appeared to have been drained of its contents to make up the last 
dose; adhering to the bottle were well-formed crystals,some of them 
about a line in length and one- fourth line in thickness. Unfortu- 
nately no chemical examination was made to determine whether 
the crystals were undissolved muriate of strychnia or iodide of 
strychnia. A microscopical examination failed to carry much 
weight, on account of the destruction of the form of the crystal by 
washing previous to mounting, the size of the crystal not being 
accepted in evidence, as crystals of iodide of strychnia were 




shown nearly as large, made by simple deposition from a warm 
saturated solution. 

The pharmaceutist by whom the prescription was compounded 
testified, " that he weighed out the muriate of strychnia, threw 
it into a graduated measure, added the two other ingredients, 
and stirred them up with a bone spatula until he thought the 
strychnia had all dissolved, as he could see no undissolved crys- 
tals or solid matter.'' To a question, he replied that he noticed 
an opalescent appearance, resembling a quinine mixture. 

An inmate of the house with deceased testified, " that she was 
sure that the bottle of medicine was never shaken." 

The prescription as above given had been sent to several prom- 
inent pharmaceutists, and the compoundings criticised by the 
jury. In some no chemical change was discernible, in others 
crystals readily recognizable as iodide of strychnia were float- 
ing through the mixture and deposited in the bottom of the bot- 
tle. In one case large crystals w^ere contained in the bottle, 
evidently of the original strychnia salt undissolved. 

The jurj', after weighing all the evidence, returned a verdict 
of "Death from prostration, following the accidental administra- 
tion of an over dose of strychnia. 

The jury farther find, from examination of the assistant phar- 
maceutist, by whom the prescription was compounded, a want of 
proper attention to, or information in manipulation, which they 
cannot pass without notice and reprimand, as both efficiency and 
safety may depend on careful manipulating skill when potent 
remedies are prescribed. 

''They farther find that the ingredients of the prescription are 
subject to such chemical changes as renders the strychnia con- 
tained therein liable to be precipitated to the bottom of the bottle 
containing the prescription ; and if the bottle should remain 
without proper agitation, an overdose of strychnia might result." 

So much for the history of the case. We now wish to make 
some remarks on the chemical and pharmaceutical character of 
the prescription, and throw out some thoughts on prescribing and 
compounding, as suggested by this case. 

Muriate of strychnia is not officinal in the U. S. nor British 
pharmacopoeias, and is rarely prescribed. It is much less soluble 



than the sulphate, requiring 50 parts of water, at 71° F., for 
solution (Gmelin's Handbook). The solubility of iodide of 
strychnia is not found in any authority which I have consulted. 
It is spoken of as very insoluble. My own determinations make 
its solubility 0*54 parts in 100 parts of water, at 60° F.* 

When a drop of syrup of iodide of iron is added to a cold 
saturated solution of muriate of strychnia, the insoluble iodide 
of the alkaloid is immediately formed. 

I have before me the prescription alluded to in this communi- 
cation, put up in two ways. In both the muriate of strychnia 
was previously dissolved in .^iss of water. In No. 1 the strych- 
nia solution w^as mixed with the iodide of iron, and the ginger 
syrup immediately added and well shaken. In No. 2 the strych- 
nia solution was first added to the syrup of ginger, well shaken 
and the iodide of iron added. In No. 1 the bottom of the bottle 
is covered with crystals of iodide of strychnia, and many float- 
ing crystals suspended in the mixture. In No. 2 no decompo- 
sition is discernible, and after standing four days no deposit has 
taken place. 

On page 1418 of the U. S. Dispensatory, 13th edition (1870), 
after quoting from this Journal the experiments of Bouchardat 
and Gobley on the insolubility of iodine combinations with 
strychnia, the authors add : " But though this fact establishes the 
impropriety of combining solutions of iodine mid strychnia in pre- 
scriptions, yet it by no means justifies the inference drawn from 
it, that iodine might serve as an antidote to strychnia. Indeed, 
the contrary has been proved by the experiments of Mr. S. 
Darby, who found the precipitated iodide of strychnia was highly 
poisonous to the lower animals, &c." 

We have, in the above quotation, information given regarding 
the insolubility of iodide of strychnia and the impropriety of pre- 
scribing iodine and strychnia solutions in combination. 

It is clearly the duty of the pharmaceutist to see that when 
potent remedies are prescribed in solution that the solution is 
complete. He ought, also, if alloAved to dispense such articles, to 

* Hydrochloric and even acetic acid much increase the solubility of 
the iodide, without apparent decomposition, when the acids are very- 



be informed regarding decompositions liable to occur, and if pos- 
sible guard against mischief likely to result therefrom, or else 
return the prescription to the writer, with his objections clearly 
stated. He should also notice, when such a prescription is re- 
turned for renewal, whether any deposit has taken place in the 
bottle, and remove it by washing should such be the case. The 
question whether it is his duty to mark the bottle " Shake well" 
when the recipe gives no such direction, is one admitting of dif- 
ferent opinions; but we think, when so marked, the error, if 
any, is on the side of prudence. 

We would suggest to physicians, when prescribing a remedy 
like strychnia in solution to its usual full dose, to prescribe it 
alone, and to give separately/ whatever else may be deemed advis- 
able. We have in our experience been made aware of changes 
unforeseen and unknown to us, until the event developed the 

Philadelphia, June 15, 1870. 


Mr. Editor. 

Dear Sir : If not intruding, will you allow your humble cor- 
respondent a few words in your valuable journal ? The subject 
may not be, in a scientific point of view, of direct advantage to 
the profession at large, but it may be productive of some good, 
and serve to promote the dignity as well as the final interest of 
our vocation. It is a subject also in which the public is deeply 
concerned, for whose benefit alike we should labor. No where 
could the matter be better introduced than in the columns of the 
Journal of Pharmacy, where it will be at once brought before the 
public bar, and where it will especially meet the immediate ver- 
dict of the proper opinion. In our profession we stand before 
the tribunal of scientific criticism and of commercial intercourse ; 
and every false theory, or every deviation from honest dealing, is 
subject to the public judgment. It burthens us therefore with 
sorrow when we are called upon to chronicle the shortcomings of 
professional brothers who would seek to further there own 
gains at the expense of their neighbors ; or who would sink 
themselves to the level of genteel beggary. 



The present article is not written with animosity towards any 
one; nor is it dictated by any other than a kindly spirit. The 
author does not know that he has ever suffered in consequence of 
unfairdealing from any quarter; duty alone suggested his action. 

That our occupation has been for a long time, and still is, 
degraded by many engaged in it, is a well-established truth ; and 
that many of the higher profession have assisted in this degradation 
cannot be denied. That a remedy is seriously required all may 

The degradation to which I allude, sir, is the practice of offer- 
ing and allow'ing physicians a percentage on their prescriptions. 
This humility has been whispered around for years past with 
muttered condemnation, yet none so bold as to proclaim the 

It is not the writer's intention to charge so grave a matter 
upon any single individual, or upon any particular class of drug- 
gists. It is sufficient to know that the evil does exist ; and the 
guilty ones only will feel the just rebuke. Those physicians who 
would thus stoop from their high position, must certainly know 
the injustice they do their patients, when they consider from 
whose purses the percentage generally comes. They must know, 
also, how utterly cruel it is to send, often a poor creature, in in- 
clement seasons to a distant store for trifling medicines which 
could be obtained equally as well from competent druggists in the 
immediate vicinity ; and then, in many instances, only to be over- 
charged for their trouble. IIow unfair ! How dishonorable ! 
thus to impose on the necessary ignorance of others. 

May I ask you, kind reader, is it not time the evil was cried 
down ? Is it not time, in this era of religious, political, scientific 
and industrial reformation, that the druggist should arouse from 
his humility, assert his manhood, and prove to the world that he is 
not the miserable wretch as depicted by Shakspeare, who would 
sell his veriest poison for a paltry mite of gold, even to send a 
poor soul to its final ^account ? Our calling is a noble one, 
needing but a little advancment to rank with the noblest of all. 
Will you not, Mr. Editor, lend us your influence to destroy this 
habit, which has become a public shame ? 

Respectfully, your obedient servant, 
Baltimore^ Md., May 31, 1870. A. Caldwell. 



The following recipes have been sent to us by Mr. Henry C. 
Morse, pharmaceutist of Elmira, N. Y., with the assurance that 
they are the real formulse of the preparations indicated, and that 
they are at the service of the readers of the Journal. Mr. M. 
remarks : — 

" The nursing syrup is an excellent preparation, and is sold 
quite extensively with us, not as a patent medicine, but from 
the large bottle, as we do ^ Godfrey's Cordial,' being a much 
finer looking preparation, not unpleasant to the taste and quite 
as harmless. 

" The ' Worm Confections ' might be used in places where 
there is a demand for reliable goods in that shape, and when one 
does not like to recommend patent medicines of unknown com- 

Mrs. Wheeler s Nursing Synq?.'" 

R Sacchari, gxxxv. 

Liquoris Calcis, ^xl. 

Extract! Papaveris fluidi, ^jv. 

Olei Anisi, 3i. 

Extracti Podophylli Aquati, §ss. 
Spiriti Rectificati, 

" Mrs. Wheeler s Worm Confections.'' 

B Hydrargyri Chloridi Mitis, ^i. 

Sacchari, 5x. 
In pulv. subtillis. tere. 


Sacchari, §xxv. 

Santonini, 3vi. 
Misce et fiat. rhom. No. 360. 

Please observe that the syrup contains about two drops Ex- 
tractum Papaveris fluidum in each teaspoonful ; and the confec- 
tions contain one grain Santonin and one-sixth of a grain of 
Calomel in each tablet. 

The Ext. Podophylli Aquati is of the same strength as the 
ordinary fluid extracts, 16 Troy oz. to the pint. 




Die Pflanzenstoffe in chemischer, pTiysiologiscJier, pharmaJcolo- 
gischer und toxihologischer Hinsicht. Fur Aerzte^ ApotheJcer, 
Chemiker und Pharmakologen bearbeitet von Dr. Aug. Huse- 

, mann (Professor der Chemie an der Kantonschule in Chur) 
und Dr. Theod. Husemann (Privatdocent der Pharmakologie 
und Toxicologic an der Universitat Gottingen). Berlin, Julius 
Springer, 1870. 

The vegetable compounds in their chemical, physiological, 
pharmacological and toxicological relations. For physicians, 
apothecaries, chemists and pharmacologists. 

We have received the first part of this work (256 pages), 
which the authors hope to complete in two more parts of about 
the same size. We consider it of such importance as to deserve 
an extended notice, although we can hardly do justice to the 
great labor bestowed upon the subject. 

The introductory chapter treats, in a concise manner, on the 
nourishment of plants, the changes which the inorganic food 
undergoes in passing from cell to cell, on the importance of the 
proximate principles of plants in medicine, and their internal, 
endermatic and hypodermic employment, on physiological and 
pharmacological observations, and on toxicology. The chapter 
concludes with the classification of the vegetable compounds 
adopted by the authors, namely, in proximate principles (alka- 
loids, acids, neutral principles) and in mixtures (volatile oils, 
resins, fats). 

The following 43 pages contain the general remarks on the 
alkaloids, a historical sketch, their occurrence in certain natural 
orders, genera, species, and difi'erent parts of plants, their pre- 
paration and purification, their physical and chemical properties, 
forensic analysis, physiological action and therapeutical uses, 
antidotes and the forms in which they are usually exhibited. 

The different alkaloids are then considered, arranged according 
to the natural orders in which they occur, and the text amply sup- 
plied with marginal notes to facilitate the finding of the differ- 
ent subjects. For morphia (p. 111-145) we find the following 
subheadings : Literature (chemical, pharmacological and toxico- 
logical), discovery, occurrence, preparation, processes (Sertiir- 



ner, Hottot, Merck, Duflos, Wittstock, Mohr, Robertson-Greg- 
ory), preparation of all important principles in opium, morphio- 
metry (Guillermond, Roussille, Guibourt, Schacht, Hager, Kief- 
fer, Fleury), yield, properties, purity, composition, salts (simple 
and double), decomposition (sulphomorphid, oxymorphia, apo- 
morphia, methylmorphia, ethylmorphia), behavior to reagents, 
forensic analysis, history of its pharmacological and toxicological 
relations, relation to the activity of opium, action on animals, 
result of physiological experiments with animals, elimination, 
action on man, symptoms of acute poisoning, toxical and lethal 
doses, post mortem appearance, antidotes, physiological proofs, 
therapeutical use, contra-indication, dose and application. 

The other alkaloids are treated similarly, and, as is evident 
from the foregoing, pretty exhaustively. We have observed 
very few omissions, for instance, the occurrence of berberina in 
Coptis trifolia and Menispermum canadense, while, on the other 
hand, the literature has been made use of to the very time of 
publication, as in the case of buxina, which, in accordance with 
Fliickiger's arguments, is regarded identical with Wiggers' 
pelosina and Maclagan's bebeerina. The pharmaceutical litera- 
ture of the United States has been consulted pretty thoroughly, 
though it is apparent in one or two references, dating back some 
12 or 15 years, that the original papers were not at the authors' 
command. The medical literature of the United States is hardly 
referred to, except what became known in Europe through the 
British journals. Among others, we miss the researches on nar- 
ceina by Dr. J. M. Da Costa (1867). 

The work supplies a want which has been frequently felt, and 
it certainly deserves a prominent place in the libraries of scien- 
tific men. The getting up of the work is creditable alike to the 
publishers and the authors, who have corrected it with great 
care. J. M. M. 

Materialien zic einer MonograpTiie des Inulins, von Dr. G. Dra- 
gendorff, ord. Professor der Pharmacie an der Universitat 
Dorpat. St. Petersburg, 1870. 

Materials for a monograph on inulin, &c. 

This work is a critical review of all the investigations and 



statements concerning inulin which have appeared since its dis- 
covery by V. Rose, in 1804, in the periodical and other litera- 
ture of continental Europe. To clear up many contradictory 
statements of other investigators, and to ascertain the relation 
of inulin to the development of those vegetables in which it is 
found (compositse), the author has undertaken numerous experi- 
ments, the results of which are merely given, without tedious 
descriptions and repetitions. The immense number of facts 
enumerated and reviewed are described concisely and with terse- 
ness. The historical introduction is followed by chapters on the 
occurrence, the preparation, the composition, the properties and 
chemical behavior, the qualitative and quantitative determina- 
tion of inulin, and its relation to other carbohydrates, as well as 
its importance for the plants. These headings of the various 
chapters do not convey any idea either of the exhaustive re- 
search into the literature, or of the tedious investigations on this 
subject, pursued by the author. The book gives a succinct 
account of our knowledge of inulin up to the present time, and 
for a good deal of the same we are indebted to the indefatigable 
investigations of the author. The work is printed in clear type, 
upon 141 pages, large octavo. It contains copious references to 
the original essays of the various writers on inulin, and has been 
very carefully corrected, the typographical errors being very 
few, and easily corrected. J. M. M. 

Die Analyse des Hams. In Fragen und Antworten fur Medi- 
ciner und JPharmaceuten zusammengestellt^ von Dr. Arthur 
Casselmann. Mit 3 lithographirten Tafeln. St. Petersburg, 

The analysis of urine. In queries and answers for physicians 
and pharmacists. With three plates. 

This little work, which was received only a few weeks ago, is 
an excellent pocket companion for those who are interested in 
the analysis of urine. The entire arrangement is very compre- 
hensive, and the queries greatly facilitate the reference. The 
answers are concise and clear, and the operations and tests are 
described with sufficient minuteness. We believe that a transla- 
tion into English would be welcome to many of our pharmacists, 
and particularly physicians, who would gladly accept such a very 
practical guide in urinary analyses. J. M. M. 



By John M. Maisch. 

The Volatile Acids of Croton Oil^ according to A. Geuther, 
are mainly acetic, butyric and valerianic acids, probably some 
oenanthylic acid, and of the oleic series perhaps pyroterebinic 
and higher acids. A liquid acid CgHgO^ (Schlippe's crotonic 
acid) does not occur in croton oil, nor is its solid acid identical 
with angelicic acid, with which, however, it agrees in composi- 
tion, CiQlIgO^. This tiglinic acid constitutes more than one- 
third of the volatile acids of croton oil ; it fuses at 64° C, and 
boils at 201-1° C, while angelicic acid fuses at 45° and boils at 
190° C.—Zeitschr.f. Chemie, 1870, I, 26-28. 

Decomposition of Oxalic Acid in Aqueous Solutions. Giov. 
Bizio found (II nuovo cim. [2] 1-272) that 0*4 grm. oxalic acid 
in one litre of water is gradually oxidized by the atmospheric 
oxygen to carbonic acid, while more concentrated solutions are 
permanent. — Ibid. II, 52. 

Paper from Hop Stems is made at a factory near Marseilles, 
in France ; it is of an agreeable whiteness, strong and soft. — 
Pharm. Zeitg., 1879, N. 22. 

Liehig's Infusion of Meat^ being of a red color, is very soon 
disliked by the patients ; by filtration it becomes of a pleasing 
appearance, and is taken for a much longer time without becom- 
ing repugnant ; after maceration the magma is thrown upon a 
filter, a little more of meat and water having been used. — Ibid, 

Adulteration of Saffron. Herseus noticed about 9 years ago 
an adulteration of (5 cwt.) saffron with 12 per cent, chalk and 
4 per cent, honey, and calls attention to the fact that Spanish 
saffron is sometimes met with adulteratad by honey, sometimes 
by honey and chalk. Honey causes the saffron, when pressed 
in the warm hand, to cake together and become sticky ; chalk is 
readily observed on throwing the saffron into water, when the 
chalk subsides.— Tftoem's V. ScJir., 1870, 91,92. 

Myrobalans are recommended by R. Hennig for the prepara- 
tion of tannin. They are about one-fourth to one-third the price 
of Chinese, and one-eighth to one-sixth the price of Aleppo 
galls. The former yield 45, the next 75 and the last 65 per 


cent, of tannin. Sound and light colored myrobalans are re- 
duced to a coarse powder, washed Avith cold water, dried and 
treated with ether in the usual manner. The tannin obtained 
is closely related to the tannin of Aleppo galls. — Pharm. Centr, 
R., 1869, 370. 

Pure CMo7^oform, made by E. Sobering from chloral hydrate, 
and after having been treated with pure concentrated sulphuric 
acid, has a specific 'gravity of 1-5022 at 15° C , and boils be- 
tween 62-3 and 62-5° C. Exposed to the sunlight for several 
days it is not altered in the least, and Hager concludes that those 
who observed differently, experimented with an impure chloro- 
form. The best and only rational mode for preparing chloro- 
form for internal use is, according to Scherer, from chloral hy- 
drate.— iM, 1870, 128-139. 

Test for Chloral- Alcoholate. Hager uses Lieben's iodoform 
test for detecting the presence of alcohol in chloral hydrate, and 
operates as follows : About 0*5 grm. chloral hydrate are dis- 
solved in 10 c.c. distilled water, the solution is made lukewarm, 
and sufficient solution of iodine in iodide of potassium is added 
to render it dark brown ; potassa solution is now carefully 
dropped in until the liquid is just rendered colorless. Every 
drop of the potassa solution produces a turbidity which disap- 
pears on agitation if the chloral hydrate is pure, but is perma- 
nent in case of alcohol being present, from the formation of iodo- 
form, a portion of which is dissolved by the chloral. — Ihid. 155. 

Soluhility of Sulphates in Sulphuric Acid. If sulphuric acid 
containing lime, baryta, strontia or lead, is evaporated in a pla- 
tinum dish, the sulphates of these bases are obtained in the form 
of small shining crystals, which are not altered by raising the 
heat above 338° C, the boiling point of sulphuric acid. H. 
Struve found that 100 parts of acid will dissolve 

Concentrated Sulphuric Acid. Nordhausen Acid. 

Sulphate of lime, 2-03 10-17 

" baryta, 5-69 15-89 

" strontia, 5*68 9-77 

lead, 0-13 4-19 

^Zeitsclir.f Anal Chemie., 1870, 34-38. 



Pure MetJiylic Alcohol does not yield iodoform witli potassa 
and iodine ; its formation points out impurities, like aceton, 
ethjlic alcohol, &c. — A. Ziehen, in Annal. d. Qhem. und Pharm.^ 
Suppl. vii, 377. 

Ferricyanide of Potassium. Prof. E. Reicbardt recommends, 
even on the large scale, the substitution of chlorine by bromine 
for oxidizing the ferro- to the ferricyanide of potassium. If 
bromine be added in small quantities the reaction will be com- 
pleted after some agitation in a few minutes ; the crystallizing 
salt will be much purer than if made by chlorine, and from the 
mother liquor the bromine may be recovered. Archiv d. Ph., 
April, 1870, 48-50. 

Extract of 3Ieat. Prof. Reichardt has analyzed an extract 
of meat, which has made its appearance in German commerce 
and is prepared by Buschenthal & Co., in Montevideo. After 
comparing his results with Liebig's, Vogel's and his own analysis 
of the extract furnished by the Liebig Company of FrayBentos, 
he comes to the conclusion that the absolute purity of Buschen- 
thal's preparation cannot be doubted. — Ibid. 55-57. 

Bellis perennis, Lin. J. B. Enz has analyzed the flowers of 
this plant with the following result: Loss on drying, 8*14; 
etherial extract, 1-8, containing tannin (green precipitate with 
iron salts), volatile oil, malic acid, potassa and lime salts, wax, 
fat, chlorophyll, fermentable sugar, acrid and bitter principle; 
alcoholic extract 3-2, containing sugar, tannin, tartaric and 
malic acids, potassa and lime salts, resin, anthoxanthin, acrid 
and bitter principle; aqueous extract 7*0, containing mucilage, 
anthoxanthin, potassa, lime and magnesia in combination with 
tartaric, malic, muriatic, sulphuric and phosphoric acids ; 1*1 
extracted by very dilute muriatic acid, consisting of pectin, gum, 
oxalate of lime and phosphates of lime and magnesia; 3 per 
cent, albuminous matter was extracted by dilute potassa solu- 
tion ; a minute quantity of volatile oil and 2*5 per cent, lignin. 
The author's process for obtaining a solution of the odorous 
principle appears to be applicable for other vegetable substances ; 
it is as follows : the flowers are macerated for a week with gly- 
cerin, expressed, the liquid diluted with water, agitated with 
chloroform, the chloroformic solution evaporated spontaneously, 



and the residue dissolved in pure alcohol. — Wittsteins VierteJj. 
jSchr., 1870, 1-14. 

JExtract. Physostigm. Venenos. Alcohol. J. B. Enz obtained, 
bj exhausting Calabar beans with alcohol of 83 sp. gr., 2 per 
cent, of a deep green extract, the color of which is not altered 
bj concentrated sulphuric acid, but on the subsequent addition 
of bichromate of potassa changes to blood red. The alkaloid is 
not entirely taken up by alcohol from the Calabar bean, unless 
the same be previously deprived of resin and fat by ether. 
The author recommends to preserve this extract (and other nar- 
cotic extracts) by Appert's method against the influence of light 
and air. — Ibid. 14-16. 

Oxidation of Paraffin by Fusion. Bolley and Tuchschmid 
ascertained that paraffin, heated to 150° C. in contact with the 
air, is slowly converted into a dark brown body, which is elastic 
like caoutchouc, becomes gelatinous at 100° C, does not fuse at 
a higher temperature, is insoluble in alcohol, ether and acids, 
slightly soluble in benzol and boiling alkaline solutions, and con- 
tains 70-04 C, 10-25 H. and lli-71 O.—Ibid. 291, from Sehweiz. 
polytechn. Zeitschr., xiii, 65. 

Poisoning by Arnica Flowers. Dr. A. Schumann, of Dresden, 
relates the case of a woman who, for suppressed menstruation, 
drank an infusion of a handful of arnica flowers. After half an 
hour she was taken with violent vomiting and severe conges- 
tion, in a few hours with intense pain in the stomach and intes- 
tines, when after nine or ten hours collapse set in. On the third 
day the pains returned, and together with intercurrent diarrhoea, 
continued for eight days longer, notwithstanding suitable treat- 
ment. — Zeitschr. d. oesterr. Apoth. Ver., 1870, 134, from 
Schmidt's Jahrbilcher. 

Estimation of Iodine. W. Reinige uses a solution of 2-5 grm. 
permanganate of potassa in 497*5 grm. distilled water, one 
gramme of which oxidizes two milligrm. iodine to iodic acid ; 
the presence of iodate, chlorine and bromine are without influ- 
ence on the result. The operation is performed as follows : the 
iodine is combined with potassium, the solution is rendered 
faintly alkaline, and heated to boiling, when the solution of the 




permanganate is gradually added until the liquid above the 
rapidly subsiding precipitate of peroxide of manganium remains 
of a reddish color ; the excess of the permanganate is now titrated 
with hyposulphite of soda. — Zeitschr. f. Anal. Chem.^ 1870, 

Permanganate of Potassa in Alkaline Solution. — Dr. Mohr 
proves that if this solution is absolutely free from organic matter 
it may be heated to boiling without turning green, {i. e., becom- 
ing reduced to manganate). For making such solutions fused 
alkalies only ought to be employed, and the use of filtering 
paper, strainers and all organic materials ought to be carefully 
avoided.— iJzt^. 43-45. 

P. TF. Hofmanns Method of Preparing Pure Hydrochloric 
Acid (see Amer. Jour. Pharm., 1869, 420), according to Fre- 
senius, yields in all stages of the process an acid containing 
much arsenic, if this metal was present in one of the crude acids, 
and also free chlorine, if the sulphuric acid contained oxides of 
nitrogen. — Zeitschr. f. Anal. Chem., 1870, 64-66. 

hifluence of Ainmonia on Guaiacum Paper. A Greiner found 
thiit guaiac paper, moistened with a very dilute solution of sul- 
phate of copper and exposed to the vapors of ammonia or car- 
bonate of ammonia, assumes a blue or blue green color, and re- 
gards it as hazardous to attempt to distinguish these gases from 
hydrocyanic acid merely from the different tints produced with 
this test paper (HCy colors it indigo blue). — Ihid. 94, 95. 

Sanguinarina. H. Naschold has prepared this alkaloid and 
a number of its compounds and studied their properties ; his 
formula for the alkaloid is Cg^HigNOg. — Zeitschr. f. Ohem., 1870, 
119-121, from Journ. prakt. Chem. 

Among the prize queries of the Academy of Medicine in Mad- 
rid for the year 1871, is one to demonstrate, by practical experi- 
ments, which variety of poppy is best adapted to culture in 
Spain, the yield of opium and the percentage of morphia con- 
tained therein. — Pharm. Zeitung, 1870, No. 22. 

The philosophical faculty of the University of Goettingen 
has published the following prize query of the Beneke fund for 
the year 1870 : The exact determination of the atomic weight of 


the metals of the earths, together with proofs on the limits of 
errors in the results obtained ; also a critical analysis of the sci- 
entific material bearing on this point ; the faculty desires also a 
treatise on the query, whether the hypotheses of Prout and Dumas 
ought to be rejected, or whether the differences between these 
hypotheses and the observations may be explained by sufficient 
chemical or physical reasons. The essays must be written in 
the German, Latin, French or English language, and handed in 
by August 31, 1872. First prize 500 thalers, gold; second 
prize 200 thalers, gold. — Ihid. N. 31. 

The Petroleum Industrial Society of Halle has offered two 
prizes of 5000 thalers ($3,500) each, 1, for the discovery of a 
chemical compound to purify crude paraffia presscakes with little 
loss (not over 5 per cent.), and, 2, for the discovery of apparatus, 
&c., for cooling quantities of paraffin at every season to at least 
5° C. (21° F.)—lbid. JY. 33. 


By Ernst Thorey. 

Pharmaceutische Zeitschrift fUr Russland, 1870, p. 129-142, 
publishes extracts from the inaugural essay of the author, from 
which we extract and condense some tables, showing the varia- 
tion of the percentage of the nitrogenated compounds in different 
periods of the growth of the plants. We give the results only 
for the dri/ parts, and for the minute analytical details refer to 
the original. The numerous analyses, while on the one hand 
pointing to an intimate relation between some of the nitrogenated 
compounds, prove also the effect of climate and soil, and show 
the necessity of having the leaves of henbane collected during 
the early stages of its growth, or until the flowers have made 
their appearance. 

Of the analytical processes employed, it must be mentioned 
that the alkaloid was determined by Mayer's test solution, the 
nitric acid by Schulze's modified method with aluminium, and 
the ammonia as platinochloride of ammonium from the distillate 


obtained by treating tbe material with caustic soda, distilling 
with strong alcohol and collecting in muriatic acid. The albu- 
men was estimated from the amount of nitrogen obtained by de- 
ducting the nitrogen contained in the alkaloid, nitric acid, am- 
monia and nitrogenated resin (present mainly in the seeds) from 
the entire amount of nitrogen contained in the plant and esti- 
mated by elementary analysis. 

Hyoscyamia is best prepared from the bruised seeds, which 
must be previously exhausted by petroleum ether to free it from 
fixed oil. The seeds are now exhausted by alcohol acidulated 
with a little muriatic acid, the alcohol is distilled off, so that the 
residue weighs about one-fifth of the original weight of the seeds, 
half the quantity of water is added, the alcohol entirely evapo- 
rated, the resin filtered off and the filtrate evaporated in vacuo 
to one-half. It is now agitated with chloroform to remove color- 
ing matter, then supersaturated with potassa and again repeat- 
edly agitated with chloroform. The chloroformic solution of the 
alkaloid is agitated with water slightly acidulated with muriatic 
acid, which, on evaporation, yields yellowish white muriate of 
hyoscyamia crystallizing in needles united in the shape of a 
cross. One kilogramme yields about half a grm. If the 
aqueous solution is treated with potassa and agitated with 
chloroform (or benzine) the pure alkaloid will, on evaporation, 
be left behind in fine needles ; ether and amylic alcohol will 
yield it in an uncrystallized state. 

The analyses of Hyosc. niger for 1868 refer to plants or parts 
of plants collected from seven different localities, the third 
columns of each series to plants from the botanical garden at 
Dorpat. Hyosc. niger analysed in 1869, and H. albus analysed 
in 1868 and 69 were raised in the same botanical garden. 

Hyoseyamus albus, 1868. Percentage for the dry material. 




Fruits and SeetJs, 

Before flovrering 
(beginning of June.) 

Flowering plants 
(middle of August.) 

Fruit bearing plants 
(middle of Sept.) 














Eyoscyamus niger, 1868. 1. Percentage of Alkaloid. 

Before flowering 

Flowering plants 

Fruit bearing plants 

(end of May.) 

(end of June.) 

(end ot August, September.) 









































Fruits with 









2. Percentage of Nitrate of Potassa. 

Fruits with 












0-639 0-864 
0-044 0-069 
0-024 0-073 



The following table exhibits the quantitative results of the 
dry material grown in 1869 ; the column of May 6th refers to 
the cotyledons of the sprouting plant ; that of May 28th to young 
plants, three weeks old. 

Hyoscyamus Albus. 

Hyoscyamus Niger. 











Roots, 1 
Seeds, J 











Stems, , 
Seeds, , 











Seeds, ^ 

■ Ammonia. 











' Albuminates. 





8 99 





The decrease and increase of the nitrogenatcd constituents 
appears to occur in the plant with a certain uniformity. The 



albuminates decrease in all the organs towards autumn ; but if 
the dry substance of the entire plant is taken in consideration, 
their absolute quantity is increased. 

J. M. M. 

By. C. a. Martius. 

The very low price of petroleum has caused many experiments 
to be made to utilize it for the production of illuminating gas. 
This has been best accomplished by Hirzel, of Leipzic, who uses 
crude petroleum, or preferably the residues left on the rectifica- 
tion of the crude oil, which may be obtained at a low price.* 

The gas is produced by conducting the oil from a reservoir 
through a tube in a uniform current into a red hot retort ; the 
gases pass through an ascending tube, a receiver and a condenser 
filled with bricks into the gasometer. The process is very sim- 
ple and devoid of danger. About 200 cubic feet of gas are ob- 
tained in an hour. An obstruction in the tubes does not occur, 
but after some time the retort must be opened and the coke 
raked out. 

This is undoubtedly the purest illuminating gas, and consists 
only of carbohydrogens, which are not condensed by cold or 
pressure, and may be kept without alteration and without losing 
its illuminating power. Neither oil nor tar is separated in the 
pipes, and the gas is free from carbonic acid, sulphurous and 
ammoniacal compounds, so that it may be collected in the gaso- 
meter without undergoing any purification. 

It is remarkable for its high specific gravity, = 0*698 (coal 
gas = 0-42) and its great illuminating power, which is four and 
and a half to fi\^e times greater than that of ordinary coal gas, 
so that burners may be used which consume only three-fourths 
to at most one and a half cubic feet per hour. 

It has a peculiar odor, so that leaks in the pipes may be 
readily discovered ; but the odor, which reminds of acetylen, is 
difi"erent from and less disagreeable than that of coal gas. Ace- 
tylen is present in this gas in such proportion that the acetylen- 

*Hirzers gas apparatus is figured and described in the American 
Eugiueer of June 18, 1870, published by Evans & Co., Philada. 



copper compounds may be readily obtained from it in large 
quantities. — Wittstein s Viertelj. Schr., 1870, 281 — 286, /rom 
Ber. der deutschen Chem. Gesellsch., 1868, Nos. 7 and 8. 

J. M. M. 

By Dr. H. Hager. 
R. Forster has analyzed some commercial dextrin with the 
following results : 

Dextrin, 7245 70-43 63-60 59-71 49-78 5-34 

Sugar, 8-77 1-92 7-67 5-76 1-42 0-24 

Insoluble matter, 13-14 19-97 14-50 20-64 30-80 86 47 
Water, 5-64 7-68 14-23 13-89 18-00 7 95 

.The insoluble matter consists mainly of unaltered starch. 

Dextrin is a very good vehicle for dry narcotic extracts ; it 
has also been recommended by Becker for internal use as an 
excellent stomachic ; for medicinal use, therefore, dextrin must 
be purified, which, according to Ilager, is best accomplished in 
the following manner : 

10 parts dextrin are dissolved in a cylindrical vessel in 18 
parts cold distilled water by agitation ; after standing, the clear 
solution is decanted or strained through flannel and mixed with 
IJ to 2 volumes of 95 per cent, alcohol. The liquid is decanted 
from the doughy precipitate which is dissolved in little distilled 
water, and the solution spread upon glass or porcelain plates to 
dry in a warm place. 

Purified in this Avay and rubbed to powder, dextrin is a whitish 
or white powder, which dissolves in distilled water to a clear, 
yellowish, nearly inodorous solution, of a mild and sweetish 
mucilaginous taste ; diluted with water it must acquire merely a 
faint violet tinge with iodine water, owing to the presence of a 
small quantity of soluble starch, which is of no importance. To 
free the dextrin entirely from this starch, the clear, aqueous 
solution is mixed with enough alcohol to produce a strong tur- 
bidity, decanted after standing for a week and then completely 
precipitated ; or the impure solution of 10 dextrin in 18 water is 
mixed with 3 parts of alcohol, decanted after a week and then 
precipitated by IJ volumes of alcohol. — Wittsteins V. Schr., 
1870, 113-115. J. M. M. 




By Prof. Dr. R. Bcettger. 

The first requisite is perfectly dry platinum chloride, entirely 
free from acid, which, in a small porcelain mortar, is well tritu- 
rated with oil of rosemary, to be renewed several (about three) 
times, until the brownish red chloride forms a black soft plaster- 
like mass, free from undecomposed chloride. The oil of rose- 
mary by combining with chlorine, turns yellow ; it is removed 
and the residue is then triturated with about five times its weight 
of oil of lavender, until the whole forms a thin, uniformly homo- 
geneous liquid, which is set aside for about half an hour, when 
it is ready for use. 

This thin liquid is painted, by means of a soft brush, in a uni- 
form, very thin, layer upon the porcelain, china or glass ; for 
the thinner the layer the more lustrous will afterwards be the 
platinum coating. All that remains now to be done is to heat 
the objects for a few minutes to a very dull, scarcely visible, 
redness, when, if this temperature has not been exceeded, they 
appear with a most beautiful silvery lustre, without requiring 
any additional labor. 

Should, through some neglect, the platinum coating be im- 
perfect, or should an object have been broken, the platinum 
may be recovered without the use aqua regia, by the follow- 
ing extremely simple galvanic process : The coated surface is 
covered with ordinary muriatic acid, and then touched with a 
zinc rod ; in consequence of the evolution of hydrogen from both 
sides of the platinum, this is at once separated as an extremely 
thin film, which, notwithstanding its specific gravity, partly rises 
to the surface. On filtering off the muriatic acid, the whole of 
the platinum is recovered. 

It is important not to keep the platinizing liquid on hand over 
a day, since it deteriorates on keeping. 

The active portion of the liquid is an organic platinum salt, 
which may be obtained in faintly yellow, small octohedrons, on 
carefully pouring alcohol on a larger quantity of the liquid ; the 
crystals, on the approach of a flame, burn with a bright light, 



leaving platinum behind of a bright whiteness and in a compact 

The author particularly recommends this process for the 
preparation of mirrors for microscopes, as well as for astronomi- 
cal purposes. — Wittst. Vierteljahres ScL, 1870, 39 — 41, from 
Jahresb. d. pliysih. Ver. zu Fraiihfurt 1867 — 68. 

^ ^ J. M. M. 

By Dk. F. A, Fluckiger. 

In a thesis Etude comparee sur le Genre Krameria et les 
racines qu'il fournit a la medecine," presented by Cotton, in 
1868, to the Paris Ecole de Pharmacie, he describes, under the 
name of rhatanhia des Antilles, a root, the origin of which he re- 
ferred to Krameria Ixina, which yields the Savanilla rhatany. Dr. 
FlUckiger has examined Cotton's root, and found it identical with 
the rhatany described by Berg, in 1865, under the name of 
Brazil rhatany. In larger quantities the officinal Payta rhatany 
has a red, the Savanilla a violet and this Para rhatany (so-called 
because exported from Para) a grey-brown color. The latter, 
like the Savanilla rhatany, is colored blue-black by sulphate of 
iron ; it possesses, in comparison to the other two roots, a re- 
markable elasticity ; the transverse fissures frequently have 
sharp turns and occasionally surround the root, and some roots 
have occasionally numerous globular suberous warts two to three 
millimetres in diameter. These external marks, particularly if 
not merely a few pieces are examined, are entirely sufficient for 
recognizing the Para rhatany. 

The author sums up his remarks as follows : 

1. There are at present in commerce three different kinds of 
rhatany, which are best named after their principal ports of ex- 
portation, Payta, Savanilla and Para. 

2. The first two kinds are described according to origin and 
characters in every modern work on pharmacognosy. 

3. The Para root was first described by Berg, as radix ratan- 
hise* brasiliensis, by Cotton as rhatany of the Antilles. 

* Dr. F. argues that ratanhia is more proper than ratanha. According 
to the distinguished botanist, Richard Spruce, rattani, in the language 
of the Quichuas, means I pack, tie &c., and ratanhia is probably derived 
from the same root. The Spanish Pharmacopoeia of 18C5 writes ratania. 


4. Its color varies between dark grey and brown ; the ex- 
tremes of this color were regarded by Cotton as black and brown 

5. This color is very distinct from that of Payta and Savanilla 

6. The origin of Para rhatany is unknown. 

7. The substitution, in medicine, of Payta rhatany by another 
is inadmissible. There exist in regard to the tannin, chemical 
differences which deserve to be investigated. The tannins pre- 
dominating, or exclusively present perhaps in Savanilla and 
Para rhatany, produce bluish black precipitates w4th iron salts. 
—Schweiz. WochenscJir. f. Fharm., 1869, 227-231. 

J. M. M. 



By Daniel Hanbury, Esq., F.R.S., F.L.S. 

Two centuries and a half have elapsed since Jalap, the tuber- 
cule of a convolvulaceous plant of Mexico, was introduced into 
the Materia Medica of Europe. The botanical origin of the 
drug long remained unsettled, evidence of which exists in the 
fact that two plants, neither of which yields jalap, have in suc- 
cession received, and still retain, the specific name Jalaj^a. The 
veritable source of jalap, however, was brought to light between 
the years 1827 and 1830, f in which latter the plant was described 
by Wenderoth as Convolvulus Purga. In 1833 it was figured 
by Hayne under the name of Ipomoea Purga ; but in 1839 it 
was transferred, on account of its tubular corolla and exsert 
stamens, to Choisy's genus Exogonium. As this genus has been 
recently united to Ipomoea by Dr. Meisner, it appears best to 
return to the name proposed by Hayne, and to call the true 
jalap-plant Ipomoea Purga. 

The unsettled condition of Mexico, and the fluctuations of com- 
merce, have alternately depreciated or enhanced the value of 
jalap, and have led to the occasional importation of other roots 
possessing more or less of the characters of the true drug. Of 

* From the author. 

fMr. Hanbury, as a just historian, might well have noticed the labors 
of Dr. Coxe and Mr. Nuttall in this connection. See D. B. Smith's paper 
Jour. Philad. Col. Pharm., vol. 2, April, 1830.— Ed. Am. Jour. Pharm. 


such kinds of jalap, one of the most remarkable is a tubercule 
imported a few years ago for the first time from Tampico, and 
thence called Tampico Jalap."^ This drug has been extensively 
brought into the market (that is to say, by hundreds of bales) ; 
and though it is less rich in resin and less purgative than true 
jalap^ yet, on account of its lower price, it has found a ready 
sale, chiefly in continental trade. 

As the botanical origin of this so-called Tampico Jalap, and 
even its place of growth, were completely unknown, I addressed 
a letter, in November 1867, to my friend Hugo Finck, Esq., 
Prussian Vice-Consul at Cordova (Mexico), begging that he 
would, if possible, procure for me some information on the sub- 
ject. Mr. Finck at first expressed strong doubts as to Tampico 
jalap being anything else than the root of Batatas Jalapa, Chois., 
known in Mexico as Purga macho. Upon inquiry, however, he 
ascertained that such could not be the case, but that it is a pro- 
duction of the State of Guanajuato, where it grows along the 
Sierra Gorda, in the neighborhood of San Luis de la Paz. At 
this town and in the adjacent villages, it is purchased of the In- 
dians and carried by the muleteers to Tampico, where it is known 
as Purga de Sierra Gorda. 

All attempts to procure specimens of the plant were for some 
time fruitless, chiefly owing to the difficulty of finding any one 
in the district who could be induced to take the needful trouble. 
The perseverance of Mr. Finck and his friend Mr. E. Benecke, 
Consul General for Prussia in the city of Mexico, overcame at 
length this obstacle, but only to meet with others hardly less em- 
barrassing. The first lot of specimens dispatched from Guana- 
juato was stolen from the mail ; the second shared the same fate ; 
while a third, which included live tubercules, was, by successive 
detentions on the w^ay, fully five months in reaching England. 
The box, however, came to hand in June last (1869) ; and amid 
a mass of damp earth and decaying matter, I had the satisfac- 
tion of discovering one solitary tubercule exhibiting signs of 
vitality. This, placed in a greenhouse and carefully nursed, 
soon began to grow with rapidity, and, on removal to an open 
border, produced a tall and vigorous plant, which towards Sep- 

*I cannot, at least, trace this jalap to have been offered in commerce 
as a distinct sort earlier than about five or six years ago. 


tember showed signs of flowering. It was then taken up and 
replaced in the greenhouse, where it blossomed freely in October 
last, but did not mature any seeds. Accompanying the tuber- 
cules, but of course in a separate box, my correspondent sent 
some pressed and dried specimens from Guanajuato, which cor- 
respond perfectly with the growing plant. 

Having ascertained, from the study of these materials, that 
the plant belonged to the genus Ipomoea, I endeavored to identify 
it with some species described in the " Prodromus " of De Can- 
dolle, or in the subsequently published " Annales " of Walpers, 
but without success. Neither was I able to find any correspond- 
ing specimen in the herbaria of the British Museum or of the 
Royal Gardens of Kew. In the Paris Museum there is a plant, 
collected by Galeotti on the lofty Cordillera near Oaxaca, which, 
so far as scanty specimens enables me to judge, accords pre- 
cisely with that received from Mr. Finck. It bears a number 
which is not mentioned in the enumeration, by Martens, of Ga- 
leotti's Convolvulacece (contained in the " Bulletin de I'Acad^- 
mie Royale de Bruxelles "*) ; and I therefore conclude that it 
is unnamed. Under these circumstances, I have drawn up the 
following diagnosis and description of the plant, which I propose 
to call Ipomcea simulans. The specific name is chosen in allusion 
to the remarkable similarity which the plant bears in foliage and 
habit to the true jalap [Ipomoea Purga^ Hayne), not to mention 
the resemblance of its tubercules. The funnel-shaped corolla 
and pendent flower-buds of the Tampico jalap-plant are quite 
unlike the corresponding parts of / Purga^ and furnish a ready 
means of distinguishing the two species : — 

Ipomcea simulans, sp. nov. Radice tuberosa, caule volubili herbaceo 
glabro, foliis ovatis, acuminatis, cordatis v. sagittatis, indivisis, pedun- 
culis unilloris solitariis, sepalis parvis. 
Hob. in Andibus Mexicanis Sierra Gorda dictis, prov. Guanajuato 
(fide cl. FincJi) ; in regione frigida ad ped. 8000 prope Oaxaca {H. 
Galeotti, no. 1369 !). 
Radix napiformis v. subglobosa v. elongata, carnosa, 2-3 poll, longa, 
basi fibrillosa. Caules herbacei, graciles. Folia glaberrima, 2-4- 
pollicaria, 1-2 poll, lata, lobis baseos acutis v. rotundatis v. subtrun- 
catis, petiolo tenui, l:|-2^ pollicari. PeduncuH axillares, petiolum 
subaequantes, penduli, uniflori v.iiiplanta vegetiore novelli alabrastra 

^ Tome xii. pt. 2 (1845), p. 257. 




duo ferentes, altero semper (ut videtur) abortive. Pedicelli incras- 
sati, basi bracteis 2 minutis. Sepala ovata, obtusa, exteriora paul- 
lulum breviora. Corolla infuodibuliformis, l|-2 poll, longa, glabra, 
rosea, pallide striata. Stigma bilobum. Capsula calycera superans, 
conica, 2-locularis, valvis 4 coriaceis. Semina glabra. 
— Extracted from tJieLinnean Society s Journal. — Botany^ vol. xi. 


By Benjamin Ward Richardson, M.A., M.D., F.R.S. 

In introducing the subject before the Medical Society of Lon- 
don on the 14th instant, the author explained that within the 
past two or three years a practice had been followed of produc- 
ing quick insensibility, which should be followed by equally 
quick recovery. Two agents had been employed for this pur- 
pose (6) nitrous oxide gas and bichloride of methylene. Accept- 
ing that the principle of producing quick insensibility had a 
practical intention and usefulness, Dr. Richardson said he had 
objection to the methods which, up to the present time, were 
adopted for carrying the principle into practice. His objections 
to nitrous oxide gas were as firm as ever. He held still, that 
the employment of an agent which excluded all atmospheric air 
during inhalation, which produced the most perfect asphyxia, 
which required for its administration costly and troublesome ap- 
paratus, and which, if administered beyond a given period, even 
for a few seconds, must of a necessity kill, was a bad agent for 
anaesthetic administration, was, in fact, a rude and vulgar pro- 
cess, retrogressive in science. 

Respecting bichloride of methylene, though it was hard to 
speak against any application of a remedy which he, the author, 
had introduced, he must be candid and say that he was not 
favorably impressed with the application of bichloride for quick 
general anaesthesia. That it was marvellously rapid in its action 
was true, that it answered the end it had in view. was true, and 
that it had now been used for rapid inhalation an immense num- 
ber of times was also true. But these facts could not conceal 

^Abstract of Papers read at the Medical Society of London on March 
14 and 21, 



the further and all-important fact, that the bichloride of methy- 
lene belonged to a dangerous family of chemical substances, and 
could not, therefore, be played with without risk. It had been 
extolled as being safer than chloroform, and that was allowed ; 
for as it contained an equivalent of chlorine less than chloro- 
form, it was materially safer, but the safety was relative not 
absolute. Under these impressions, the author was led recently 
to review experimentally the action of the whole of the more 
promising anaesthetic fluids and vapors, including chloride of 
methyl, bichloride of methylene, chloroform amylene, hydride of 
methyl-ethylic ether, methylic ether, and some others, which 
were given on a table placed before the society. The result was 
that he had decided in favor of methylic ether for rapid anaes- 
thesia. The anaesthetic properties of methylic ether were first 
discovered by Dr. Richardson, in 1867, and the substance has 
been reported upon by him in two reports to the British Asso- 
ciation for the Advancement of Science. On the 20th of May, 
1868, he inhaled it for the first time himself. Dr. Sedgwick and 
Mr. Peter Marshall administering it to him to complete insensi- 
bility. He was narcotized completely in one minute, was un- 
conscious in seventy seconds, and recovered almost instanta- 
neously without nausea, headache or other unpleasant symptom. 
From that time the author has been in the habit of narcotising 
occasionally with methylic ether, and recently with marked 

The ether is made by digesting one part of pure methylic 
alcohol with two of strong sulphuric acid. The mixture is 
heated, and the methylic ether, which passes over as a gas, is 
subjected to frequent Avashings in strong potassa solution. The 
ether remains as a gas even below zero ; it has an ethereal odor ; 
it is chemically an oxide of the radical methyl ; its vapor den- 
sity is 23, taking hydrogen as unity. The strongest objection 
to methylic ether is that it is a gas, but, happily, the difficulty 
is to a large extent overcome, the gas being very soluble in 
various substances ; water takes up thirty-seven volumes of the 
gas, yielding an ethereal fluid of very pleasant taste ; pure ethy- 
lic ether and alcohol take up over 100 volumes, and chloroform 
and bichloride of methylene nearly as much. For practical pur- 
poses the author prefers absolute ethylic ether of sp. gr. -720, 



and boiling point of 920° F. as the solvent. The ether is charged 
with the gas at a temperature of 32° F., and the compound is at 
once bottled and firmly corked down. It should be kept for a 
time before being used, the process of keeping producing a com- 
paratively stable compound. In using this compound, which he 
proposes to call methyl-ethylic ether, the author at present em- 
ploys the simple mouthpiece invented by Mr. Rendle, and made 
merely of leather. He is adding to this a reserve bag, in order 
to conserve the ether. From one to two drachms may be put 
into the inhaler for quick narcotization. 

Dr. Richardson next described cases in which the methyl- 
ethylic ether had been administered to the human subject for 
the extraction of teeth ; in eleven cases the whole operation, 
from commencement of the inhalation to the complete recovery, 
was under three minutes ; in several cases one minute was suffi- 
cient, while in two cases forty-five seconds sufficed. In no case 
was there spasm, syncope, or asphyxia during inhalation, or any 
after nausea, and in all cases there was a semi-consciousness, so 
that the patients did what they were bade to do, remembered 
what had been done, and yet were not conscious of pain. 

The author next described the action of methyl-ethylic ether 
on the nervous centres, comparing it with chloroform and other 
anaesthetics containing chlorine. He showed that this ether pro- 
duced no excitation of the nervous centres which supply the 
vascular system as chloroform does ; and that, consequently, 
there was absence of muscular spasm, of contraction of blood- 
vessels and of syncope from fatal contraction of the heart. When 
it was carried to the extent of arresting life in the inferior ani- 
mals it produced death, by paralyzing the organic nervous cen- 
tres. Tins extreme result was preceded by convulsive action, 
similar to that which is seen in death from hoemorrhage, the con- 
vulsion being due to the absence of arterialized blood in the 
muscles. So well, however, did the heart still retain its power, 
that in one case, in a lower warm-blooded animal — a guinea pig 
— the respiration returned spontaneously m pure air four minutes 
and forty five seconds after it had ceased. No fact could more 
definitely speak in favor of the safety of this agent. 

In conclusion, the author said that as he had confined himself 
this time to rapid anaesthesia for short operations, his remarks 



must be taken as bearing on that subject only. He had intro- 
duced methyl-ethjlic ether as the readiest and best agent he 
knew of for the purpose described. It was better than nitrous 
oxide gas, because it allowed air to be given with it, and did not 
asphyxiate ; it was better than bichloride of methylene, because 
it did not produce muscular spasm and syncope. At the same 
time he did not consider it as perfect, nor should he consider 
general anassthesia perfected, until he or some other observer 
shall discover an agent that will destroy sensibility without in- 
terfering at all with organic muscular life, volitional power, or 
consciousness. Methylic ether approached this perfection, 
though it did not touch it, and it encouraged perseverance in 
experimental research. For these reasons it was worthy the 
attention of the society. 

Dr. Richardson again brought this subject before the Medical 
Society of London on the 21st instant. He dwelt upon the value 
of methylic ether as a general anaesthetic, recording his experi- 
ences of it during the last eight days. He mentioned the diffi- 
culties he had encountered, first in keeping the methylic ether in 
solution, and secondly in method of administration, and explained 
how these difficulties were to be met. Respecting method of ad- 
ministration, he said that the ether must be confined in a bag, in 
connection with the inhaler, and from the bag it must be vola- 
tilized, by means of a hand bellows. The instrument for this 
purpose was shown, the elastic bag contained layers of domette 
to receive the ether. By this means all the ether was utilized, 
and usually two drachms would be found a sufficient quantity. 
Dr. Richardson reported, that since the last meeting of the so- 
ciety he had administered the ether seventeen times, and with a 
success quite equal to his expectations. The ether produced 
quick relaxation of the muscles, with dilatation of the pupils, 
and this last was a good test of insensibility. The blood which 
flowed during an operation retained its arterial hue, and there 
was no sign of asphyxia, or of vomiting. Recovery was rapid, 
and methylic ether promised to be the best and safest of anaes- 
thetics. In prolonged operations it might be advantageously 
mixed with bichloride of methylene, the two fluids being in equal 
parts. The effect of bichloride in causing spasm and vomiting 
was greatly controlled by the ether. — The Med. Press and Cir- 
cular, Dublin, March 80, 1870. . 



By E. H. Sargent. 

The great importance Yfliich attaches to this class of prepara- 
tions, and the near approach of the revision of the Pharmaco- 
poeia, must constitute my excuse for presenting the following 
suggestions .: 

Simplicity is a cardinal virtue, either in or out of a pharmaco- 
poeia, but more especially in the construction of formulas for the 
use of American apothecaries. 

That pharmacists should prepare all, or nearly all the Galen- 
ical preparations which they are called upon to dispense, will 
admit of no doubt ; it therefore is a duty to simplify our pro- 
cesses in such a majiner that they will, while meeting the re- 
quirements of medicine, induce all pharmacists to manufacture 
these preparations for themselves, yet it is undeniably a fact 
that only a small minority do so, and the reason may be sought 
for with some profit, if it, when found, induces a change for the 
better. It is hardly necessary to call attention to the great 
variety of fluid extracts offered for sale, nor to the well known 
dissimilarity in the productions of different manufacturers, 
showing utter neglect of the pharmacopoeia in nearly all cases, 
and in some a sad lack of the proper medicinal strength, thereby 
materially impairing the moral force of the pharmacopoeia, and, 
what is of greater importance, furnishing inferior medicine to 
the sick. The injustice of dispensing inferior preparations falls 
chiefly upon the physicians and their pa-tients ; as the physician 
can determine the dose proper to be administered, only from his 
knowledge of the drug itself, it is of the utmost importance that 
the preparation shall fairly represent a known quantity of the 
drug. The quantity is immaterial, so that it is known, as the 
fitness of any preparation for a certain use must be left for the 
physician to decide, from his knowledge of it ; and the knowl- 
edge must be definite or he may fail, and place in danger the 
life of his patient. The physician lacking this knowledge has 
no method of determining the character of a preparation (until 
he has seen its effect) except by its physical properties, and all 
must be aware how little can be known from the taste, smell, or 




appearance of a fluid extract, showing the importance of em- 
ploying a standard that shall not be violated by the caprice, or 
the more unworthy motive of avarice, of the vendor. It cer- 
tainly is no light matter to trifle with life and health ; the laws . 
of conscience, if not the laws of the land, should prevent it, and 
every incentive should be presented that is possible, to encour- 
age both the pharmacist and the manufacturer to prepare and 
sell only ofiicinal preparations, whenever formulas are supplied. 

In considering the present oflicinal formulas for fluid extracts 
it may be asked, what is the design or purpose of a formula? 
The reply will be, that pharmacists may prepare the article as 
ordered. Then it must follow that all formulas should be con- 
structed so as to adapt them to general use. Such certainly was 
the intention of the revisers of our own national pharmacopoeia, 
but after a trial of ten years are the results satisfactory with the 
class referred to? It will not be denied that, with a/ew excep- 
tions in our larger cities, apothecaries depend upon the manu- 
facturing specialist for the supply of fluid extracts. In looking 
for a reason may we not safely assert that nearly all the objec- 
tions met with originate in the practically impracticable formulas 
of the pharmacopoeia, requiring, as they do, a degree of skill, a 
perfection of manipulation, and an honesty of purpose, which, 
at least, are none too common. This charge made against phar- 
macists may lead some to suspect that ordinary honesty is a rare 
quality in the trade, but the inference is not a fair one. The 
objections to the present formulas are many and serious. The 
extracts oifered by manufacturers are recommended by leading 
medical journals and appear satisfactory to physicians, who, it 
may be stated, have learned their strength by experience, and, 
therefore, know what quantity to prescribe, so that wilful dis- 
honesty is not charged, but the fact remains, as the writer has 
verified by many inquiries, that not over ten per cent, of the 
apothecaries in the U. S. prepare or sell fluid extracts made in 
accordance with the formulas of the U. S. Pharmacopoeia. It 
may be said that the greater fault is with the apothecary, but 
how shall it be remedied ? is the serious question.. No ordinary 
arguments or appeals for the authority of the pharmacopoeia will 
suffice. The difficulty must be met by removing all excuse for 



it, and the furnishing of practical formulas for fluid extracts, 
suited to the requirements of the limited trade of the majority 
of American pharmacists. The best method for removing the 
• difficulty should be honestly sought and applied. To the writer, 
no other yet presented promises so much as the suggestion of 
Mr. Diehl, so ably advocated in the Pharmacist for April, by 
Mr. Bartlett, showing the advantage of a reduction in the 
strength of fluid extracts. It points out an easy and unobjec- 
tionable method for correcting the greatest abuse that pharmacy 
and medicine now sufi'er from. It is necessary to keep in mind, 
when considering proposed reforms, that we must take the world 
as we find it, time being necessary for reconstruction. It is also 
the part of wisdom to make only such laws as we are able to en- 
force. Is it wise, therefore, to retain a series of formulas that 
not one out of ten apothecaries will attempt to use ? Rather, is 
it not our duty to so modify the formulas that each well-disposed 
pharmacist will prepare what he requires for dispensing ? There 
need be no compromise with ignorance, nor with dishonesty in 
this matter, for the better reasons are all in favor of the pro- 
posed change, while it is difficult to name a sufficient reason for 
maintaining the present standard. Perhaps the best one adduced 
is that it is convenient for physicians to remember the propor- 
tion of " ounce to ounce,'' yet it is difficult to imagine a memory 
so poor as to forget the proportion of one half ounce of the drug 
to the fluid ounce of extract, particularly when we now have two 
preparations of that strength. 

The only other reason urged, of any weight, is that such a 
standard was adopted ten years ago, and has been generally ad- 
vocated as the right one, yet, to admit this as a good argument, 
would prevent making any changes in our present formulas. 
Further, this supposed reason is negatived by the fact, that the 
fluid extracts in common use are not made by this standard, nor 
equal it in strength. 

Experience should lead to improvement, and prejudice should 
be cast aside in questions of so much importance as this. 

The present system forces a compromise with right by compel- 
ling a large majority of druggists to use the inferior prepara- 
tions so extensively advertised by specialists, each claiming to 



be better tban his neighbors, and also claiming some marvellous 
method of his own for cheapening medicines. The evil com- 
plained of is not confined to fluid extracts, as it is becoming a 
too common habit to prepare tinctures and syrups from these in- . 
ferior commercial preparations. It is by such use that the lack 
of proper quality becomes most apparent. The writer has been 
shown tinctures and syrups thus prepared which bore no resem- 
blance to the ofiicinal, yet were dispensed in full assurance that 
the effect would be satisfactory. 

The concentration of vegetable tinctures beyond a certain 
limit, by the use of heat (even in vacuo tends directly to the 
injury of the same, as well as to unnecessary expense and diffi- 
culty in the process. No one who has prepared officinal fluid 
extracts can doubt that this limit has been passed, yet no advo- 
cate for the present strength has proposed to dispense w^ith par- 
tial evaporation, nor can it be otherwise. 

The larger dose which will be required if the strength is re- 
duced, may be named as an objection, but it has, in most in- 
stances, no value. The dose, as at present made, will vary with 
the drug used, from one drop to a teaspoonful, but in all cases 
the dose, whatever it may be, is given diluted, and the quantity 
of drug being the same, the diluted dose will be no larger in one 
case than in the other. It may be urged that a larger quantity 
of alcohol will be given, but only in a few instances will the ob-^ 
jection hold good, and in none to a mischievous extent. The use 
of glycerine and sugar, in many preparations, taking the place 
of a portion of the alcohol, forming far more palatable vehicles, 
and when it is kept in mind, as it should be, that the majority of 
fluid extracts sold scarcely exceed this reduced strength, these 
fancied objections vanish, as the dose, in most instances, will not 
be increased noticeably, if at all, as any prescription file will 

No apothecary who dispenses officinal fluid extracts can have 
failed, occasionally, to find himself in difficulty from the danger- 
ous doses prescribed of veratrum, conium, hyoscyamus or bella- 
donna (the prescription being based upon the use of commercial 

It may be said that the physician is at fault, but that does not 



relieve the difficulty in the least ; such has been, and such will 
be the case so long as this difference exists. It may be further 
urged that all this class of fluid extracts (the narcotic) are far 
more concentrated than is desirable, either for the physician or 
the pharmacist. 

There, is an old saying, that " if the mountain will not come to 
Mahomet, Mahomet must go to the mountain." In this case it 
may apply, and even at the risk of apparent concession, it may 
still be both prudent and right to concede, Where it is evident 
folly and injury to insist. 

The pharmacist will rarely, and the specialist will never, make 
their fluid extracts according to the present officinal formulas, 
nor by others involving similar objections, for evident reasons. 
Why not change the standard to one that each will faithfully ob- 
serve, for similar reasons, ^. 6., self-profit. All of the more 
powerful could be more safely used, be more uniform and more 
reliable, if made of the reduced strength, which, at least, would 
counterbalance any apparent objection in those less powerful ; 
further, all the fluid extracts could be of uniform strength, in- 
cluding cinchona and wild cherry. 

By following the proposed method of Mr. Bartlett, each |)har- 
macist, no matter how limited his trade, could properly prepare 
his own fluid extracts, without needless loss of material, or un- 
necessary expense, a desideratum that no other method pro- 
posed will accomplish, yet of the greatest importance, both to 
the individual, and in its influence upon the progress of phar- 

Let us, by all means, have formulas for this very important 
class of preparations, which shall commend their use to the re- 
tail apothecary, and, in view of the near approach of the revision 
of the pharmacopoeia, no time is so opportune as the present for 
agitating the question of what the standard strength and process 
shall be. 

The following table illustrates the proper dose of nearly all of 
the fluid extracts (officinal strength) which are largely prescribed, 
except the cinchona and wild cherry, of which the strength will 
not be changed by the proposed reduction : 



16 oz. to pint. 

8 oz. to pint. 


1 to 3 drops. 

2 to 6 drops. 


1 " 3 " 

2 " 6 " 

Blackberry . 

J fl. drachm. 

1 fl. drachm. 

Black Cohosh . 

1 " 


^ " 

1 " 


5 to 10 drops. 

10 to 20 drops. 


. 5 " 10 " 

10 " 20 " 


1 fl. drachm. 

2 fl. drachms. 


1 " 


5 to 10 drops. 

10 to 20 drops. 


^ fl. drachm. 

1 fl. drachm. 


10 to 15 drops. 

20 to 30 drops. 


. 3 20 " 

6 40 " 


|- fl. drachm. 

1 fl. drachm. 

Leptandra . 

1 " 


• 2 

Nux Vomica 

3 to 10 drops. 

6 to 20 drops. 

Pink root 

1 fl. drachm. 

2 fl. drachms. 


. 10 to 30 drops. 

20 to 60 drops. 


5^ to 1 drachm. 

1 to 2 drachms. 


^ fl. drachm. 

1 fl. drachm. 






1 " 


^ to 1 drachm. 

1 to 2 " 

Veratrum Viride . 

2 to 4 drops. 

4 " 8 drops. 

It will be seen that in only five of the above examples, when 
reduced, a dose exceeding a teaspoonful will be required in ordi- 
nary cases, and in each of the five the alcoholic strength need 
not exceed that of dilute alcohol. In ten of those remaining 
the dose will range from 3 drops to 30 ; of those y6t remaining 
the dose will average one fluid drachm. 

Cliicago^ April^ 1870. 

— Pharmacist, May, 1870. 


Eead before the California Pharmaceutical Society, March 14th, 1870. 

By W. T. Wenzell, Chemist. 
This is an article put into the market purporting to be manu- 
factured by Jas. R. Nichols & Co., of Boston, under the above 
name ; they claiming their preparation to fully represent all of 


the alkaloids naturally contained in calisaja bark. A priated 
. circular is also extensively circulated among physicians, entitled 
" The Chemistry of the Cinchona Barks," taken from the Boston 
Journal of Chemistry/, the organ of the above mentioned firm, 
through whose pages their preparations are fully heralded. The 
circular commences with an array of glittering generalities on 

Some of the Chemical Constituents of Calisaya Bark, and the 
Methods usually Employed in their Separation." We further 
notice a statement, which is unsupported by proof and medical 
authority, that all of the cinchona alkaloids possess equal febri- 
fuge and tonic properties ; and that quinia only acquired the 
rank of superiority as a febrifuge by reason of priority of dis- 
covery ; a statement which is also incorrect, inasmuch as cin- 
chona was discovered as early as 1810, by Gomez, whereas 
quinia was discovered ten years later, by Pelletier and Oaventou. 
The " Cincho-Quinine " of Jas. B. Nichols k Co. is composed, 
according to their circular, of bark alkaloids, as follows : 1, 
Quinia ; 2, Cinchonia ; 3, Quinidia ; 4, Cinchonidia ; 5, other 
alkaloidal principles present in the bark. 

The claims advanced as to its superiority over the sulphate of 
quinia are, namely : that " Cincho-Quiriine " contains the whole 
of the active febrifuge and tonic principles of calisaya bark ; 
that it exerts the full effects of sulphate of quinia in the same 
dose, without causing cerebral disturbances ; that it is nearly 
tasteless, and less costly *than sulphate of quinia. The dose of 
the preparation is left to the discretion of the physician with 
the direction that it may be administered in doses varying from 
five to thirty grains. 

The apparent insolubility of the " Cincho-Quinine," its slight 
bitter taste and large medicinal dose, (30 grs.), have led me to 
investigate the true nature of the article presented. " Cincho- 
Quinine " is put up in imitation of sulphate of quinia, in ounce 
bottles. It appears in the form of white friable scales, which 
are almost tasteless, only a slight bitterness being perceptible. 
When placed upon reddened litmus paper, and a drop of alcohol 
added, the blue color of the litmus was promptly rcs.tored. 
It proved combustible without residue. When dissolved in water 
with the intervention of sulphuric acid, the solution tasted 



analogous to one of sulphate of cinchonia, and the solution when 
strongly acidulated with the acid, possessed, in very slight de- 
gree only, the optical phenomena of fluorescence and epipolism. 
Dr. Bill's test of ferro-cyanide of potassium gave the known 
reaction for cinchonia. ^' Cincho-Quinine " was nearly insoluble 
in ether. Twenty grains of the preparation were dissolved in 
water with a sufficient quantity of sulphuric acid, and the solu- 
tion subjected to Liebig's ether test, which dissolves quinia, 
quinicia and cinchonicia, also portions of quinidia and cincho- 
nidia, if a large excess of ether be employed. The etherial so- 
lution thus obtained by successive washings with ether, left on 
evaporation and drying a solid residue weighing about half a 
grain, possessing alkaloidal properties. This residue when dis- 
solved in dilute sulphuric acid and water, and treated with 
Brando's chlorine and ammonia test, will indicate by its green 
coloration the presence of quinia, quinidia and quinicia. The 
test responded in this instance affirmatively. In order to deter- 
mine which of the alkaloids produced the coloration, one portion 
of the solution was tested for quinidia by Van Heijningen's test 
of oxalate of ammonia, and another portion was tested for quini- 
dia by Dr. Vry's test of iodide of potassium, but both gave nega- 
tive results. Therefore the alkaloid detected by Brande's test 
is quinicia, which was confirmed by the application of Hera- 
path's optical and chemical tests of the iodo-sulphates of the 
cinchona alkaloids. One grain of the mixed alkaloids obtained 
by Liebig's test from " Cincho-Quinine " by thorough exhaustion 
with ether, was dissolved in a fluid drachm of water sufficiently 
acidulated with sulphuric acid. The solution was then mixed 
with an equal bulk of alcohol, the mixture warmed to about 100° 
Fahr. and treated successively with tincture of iodine. The 
several (7) precipitates which appeared on cooling were amor- 
phous resinous substances soluble in alcohol, and did not exhibit 
in the least degree crystalline structures. The precipitates first 
obtained were reddish in appearance, analogous to the salt of 
iodo-sulphate of quinicia; the last precipitates possessed the pur- 
plish tint belonging to the iodo-sulphate of cinchonicia. The 
absence of all crystalline characteristics of iodo-sulphate salts 
thus obtained from the alkaloids extracted by ether from " Cin- 


cho-Quinine " point conclusively to the absence of quinia, quini- 
dia and cinchonidia in the sample under examination, and we 
can safely assert that " Cincho-Quinine " is in reality only cin- 
chonia containing about two per cent, of quinicia and cinchonicia. 

In reviewing the above experiments and results in connection 
with Jas. R. Nichols & Co.'s circular, we unhesitatingly arrive 
at the following conclusions : 

" Cincho-Quinine," although having the advantage of being 
nearly tasteless, does not contain quinia, quinidia and cinchonidia, 
and therefore does not represent the whole of the active princi- 
ples of the bark. 

It cannot exert the full effects of sulphate of quinia in the 
same dose, inasmuch as the stated dose of " Cincho-Quinine " is 
from five to thirty grains. 

Although ^' Cincho-Quinine " appears to cost less than sul- 
phate of quinia, it does not follow that commercial " Cinchonia," 
sold at four times its value, is a desirable substitute for quinine 
in an economical point of view. 

And, lastly, one very important principle should by no means 
be lost sight of, namely : that a physician should always know 
what he is prescribing, and therefore the substitution of a remedy 
of less eflBciency and uncertain medicinal value, is altogether un- 
warrantable and often hazardous. — Pasifio Med. and Surg, 
Journ.^ Aprils 1870. 



By M. Donovan, M.R.I.A. 

In prescribing hydrocyanic acid medical practitioners occa- 
sionally indicate what they believe to be a specific strength by 
directing " Scheele's acid" to be used in compounding their pre- 
scriptions. The practical effect is to cause some degree of doubt 
in the mind of the compounder, bound, as he is, to the provisions 
of the Pharmacopoeia, on the one hand, and the instruction given 
by the prescriber, on the other. 

In some establishments two denominations are to be found — 
one prepared according to B. P., the other according to the pre- 
vailing opinion that Scheele's acid should be of three-fold 


strength. This is certainly an unsatisfactory and unsafe state 
of things. 

In the first place, I think I am warranted in affirming that the 
illustrious Swedish chemist never promulgated any formula for 
the preparation of a medicinal hydrocyanic acid. I have care- 
fully searched his essays, and his letters to Crell, as well as his 
treatise on Air and Fire," and could find nothing but an ac- 
count of prussic acid, with "which he conducted certain chemical 
researches with a view of ascertaining its nature and efi*ects on 
other substances, but not having the least reference to its em- 
ployment as a medicine ; nor were any medical effects at that 
time attributed to it. The acid he used was prepared from com- 
mercial Prussian blue, a substance of variable composition, as he 
himself ascertained. A mixture of commercial Prussian blue, 
red precipitate, and water was boiled ; the filtered solution was 
presented to the action of iron filings and dilute sulphuric acid, 
the clear liquid thus produced, being decanted, was distilled, 
and one-fourth drawn off ; a few grains of chalk were added, 
and the liquor was re-distilled into a receiver containing " a 
little water." The whole of what Scheele wrote on the subject 
is contained in his 21st essay. 

Here we do not discover any care to produce hydrocyanic 
acid of such normal strength as would insure identity of power 
in - the same dose, at all times, with different samples of the 
medicine. I conclude, therefore, that the name " Scheele's 
acid " is a misnomer, leading to misconception, and even to 

No doubt a formula for hydrocyanic acid was introduced into 
the Pharmacopoeia of the United States (1820) under the name 
of Scheele's acid, prepared from the same materials as those 
used by Scheele, but in different proportions, by a different 
method, and with a different result. This I believe to be the 
origin of the name " Scheele's prussic acid." But, as observed 
by Jourdan, la densite variable de I'acide hydrocyanique pre- 
pare suivant la methode de Scheele ne permet pas de I'appliquer 
aux usages de la medecine." 

The acid prepared according to ,the British Pharmacopoeia, 
as that authority informs us, contains, by weight of the solution. 


2 per cent, of hydrocyanic acid ; 100 grains of it precipitated 
with a solution of nitrate of silver yield 10 grains of dry cyanide 
of silver. The unauthorised hydrocyanic acid prepared in Lon- 
don as Scheele's strength " contains 5 per cent, of real acid ; 
100 grains of it by weight should produce 25 grains of dry 
cyanide of silver when precipitated by solution of nitrate of 
silver. Thus, if five minims were intended as a dose for the for- 
mer, the patient would practically have taken twelve minims if 
Scheele's strength were made use of. What the effect of such a 
dose might be, if repeated at intervals during the day, it is not 
for me to inquire. Of hydrocyanic acid, B. P., at the tempera- 
ture of 60°, one drachm measure is equal to about 71 drops of 
the same acid dropped from an ordinary ounce bottle ; hence, 
12 minims would be equal to 14| drops. 

Some make light of a dose of three or four drops because they 
have known larger doses, to prove harmless ; but were they quite 
sure of the condition of the acid employed ? It is to be kept in 
mind that concentrated hydrocyanic acid rapidly deteriorates, 
that even the dilute acid of the Pharmacopoeia becomes weaker 
by age, and that the so-called Scheele's acid, being stronger 
than the latter, is still more liable to change ; hence, from its 
very weakness, arises another source of danger. On this subject 
Professor W. Gregory has thus expressed himself: " The aver- 
age dose (of the medical acid) safe for an adult is one or two 
drops. It is much used as a sedative and anodyne ; but, unless 
its strength and dose be perfectly known, it is a dangerous 
remedy. Fatal accidents have occurred from prescriptions found, 
after experience, to act favorably, being made up in another 
place, or by the same druggsit with a fresh stock, this fresh 
stock being exactly of the standard strength, while the previous 
acid had lost so much by keeping that the dose had been of 
necessity increased. There, danger actually arose from a too 
weak acid having been used." ("Organic Chemisty," 4th 
edition, p. 75.) 

In all cases it will occasionally be necessary to test the con- 
dition of the hydrocyanic acid employed by the volumetric 
method directed in the B. P. And it would still further con- 
duce to the safe employment of this dangerous medicine if, in^ 



Stead of directing " Scheele's acid," prescribers would, in every 
case, subjoin B. P. to tbeir prescriptions ; this would put an end 
to all uncertainty. — The 3Ied. Press and Circular^ Mm^ch, 1870. 

By Edward Histed. 

After the reading of Mr. Hanbury's " Historical Notes on 
Manna," at the meeting of the Pharmaceutical Society of No- 
vember 3d, 1869, a few remarks were made by some gentlemen 
present respecting the existence of an artificial manna, said to be 
a very good imitation of the genuine. Some weeks since I was 
fortunate enough to become possessed of a specimen of this sub- 
stance which had been brought from Paris, and was much sur- 
prised at the clever manner in which it had been produced, and 
the great resemblance it bore to what it was intended to imitate. 

The consumption of manna in this country being compara- 
tively small, a factitious or adulterated form of the drug would 
scarcely be accepted by pharmaceutists ; this may account for 
the artificial flake manna in question being so little known in 

In the first volume of the Pharmaceutical Journal (1842) will 
be found a description of a spurious sort of manna having a sin- 
gular resemblance to the genuine, but differing essentially in that 
it contained no mannite, but was mainly composed of sugar of 
fecula, or glucose. 

The artificial flake manna, which I have made the subject of 
my experiments, is certainly something better than this ; yet, 
though one may hesitate to stigmatize it as spurious, there can 
be no question it is intended to deceive, it being, according to the 
printed circular which is sold with it, manna of inferior quality 
which has been purified and made to assume the form of the 
large stalactitic pieces which constitute the most esteemed form 
of the drug. The printed circular accompanying each parcel, in 
fact, alleges that it consists entirely of natural manna, and that 
it is free from sugar, starch, jalap, scammony, or other foreign 
substance ; that it diff"ers only from natural manna in not being 
contaminated with slight impurities, such as particles of wood, 


bark, and leaves, which are always found in the latter ; and, 
finally, that it has precisely the same medicinal action as natural 
flake manna. 

A cursory glance at this fictitious flake manna would lead to 
the conclusion of its being the finest natural flake manna, from 
which, indeed, the public would not readily distinguish it, but 
closer inspection reveals certain obvious diflerences. When 
broken, no crystals of mannite are to be seen in the interstices ; 
there is an absence of the peculiar bitter taste and of the odor 
characteristic of good manna ; the fictitious manna is cleaner, 
lighter, more uniform in color, and more solid, than is usual with 
natural flake ; it dissolves more readily in water, and makes a 
clearer solution, which, when shaken, does not form a permanent 
froth. If one part be added to four of rectified spirit of wine, 
and the mixture be boiled for a few minutes, a residue, resem- 
bling clarified honey, will be obtained, whereas natural manna 
treated in the same way leaves a hard substance in irregular 

The fictitious flake manna aff'orded me about 40 per cent, of 
mannite ; natural manna in fine stalactites, treated in precisely 
the same method, yielded about 70 per cent. 

The crystals obtained by alcohol were identical, whether the 
artificial or natural drug were employed. 

27, Haymarket. 

— Pharm. Journ.^ Lond.^ Aprils 1870. 


By a. B. Prescott, 
Assistant Professor of Cbemistry, etc., University of Michigan, U. S. 
The pump is not always at hand ; its use is forbidden for trans- 
mission of corrosive vapors ; and, moreover, the removal of 
liquids, in form of vapor, against the weight of the air by mus- 
cular power is liable to exhaust" the operator more efi*ectively 
than it does the material. I desire to ask attention to some uses 
of ordinary distilling apparatus, for the production and mainte- 
nance of approximate vacuum over liquids during their vapori- 


zation, in cases where the heat of 120° to 150° F. may be ap- 

It is necessary that the distilling apparatus be made capable 
of air-tight closure, and that the air be removed from it to begin 
with. Then the degree of exhaustion in the apparatus is in 
direct ratio to the rapidity of condensation of the vapor pro- 
duced, xind the rapidity of condensation is only limited by the 
degree and extent of refrigeration employed, with a given extent 
of evaporating surface at a stated temperature. The air in the 
apparatus, to begin with, may be expelled through a suitable 
aperture by steam, which may be generated in the " receiver" of 
the apparatus or in a^n attachment thereto. 

Take two round-bottomed glass flasks, the one having a capa- 
city four to eight times greater than the other. Adjust the 
smaller upon a water-bath, the larger at 10 to 15 inches distance 
from the other, over a sink or large basin, and connect the two 
with glass tubing and perforated caoutchouc stoppers, so that the 
connecting tube shall incline slightly downward from its bend 
close to the stopper of the small flask. The stopper of the small 
flask is also to have a second perforation, in which is fitted a 
straight glass tube, 2 or 3 inches long, its lower end placed even 
with the lower end of the stopper. The upper end of this tube 
is very slightly drawn out for a J of an inch, and snugly fitted 
with IJ inch of firm rubber tubing, the upper J inch of which 
is closed with a piece of glass rod of same diameter as the body 
of the tube. 

Now put an ounce or two of water in the large flask, and the 
material to be evaporated in the small flask ; close the stoppers 
perfectly, by turning the flasks under them, and leave open the 
straight tube. Apply, by the water-bath, the limited degree of 
heat until it is imparted to the contents of the small flask ; then 
move a lamp under the large flask until the water in it has boiled 
briskly and the steam therefrom has escaped continuously from 
the straight tube for some minutes. Now close the straight tube 
with its caoutchouc cap, at the same time removing the lamp from 
the large flask. When the latter has cooled somewhat, wrap it 
smoothly with linen netting or gauze, and lead upon it a minute 
stream of cold water, controlling the same as required. The 


liquid in the small flask boils briskly (if aqueous, boiling at 120° 
or 150° F.), and the refrigeration is governed to prevent too 
violent ebullition, lest liquid be thrown into the connecting tube ; 
the degree of applied heat is governed to the same end. 

An ordinary glass retort may be substituted for the small flask 
as an evaporating vessel, and its tubule may be fitted with a per- 
forated stopper, admitting a thermometer. If there is not room 
in the stopper (of retort or flask) for both the thermometer and 
the steam-escape tube, the latter may be dispensed with by ad- 
justing the stopper loose for escape of steam, and pressing it tight 
when the air is expelled. Flat-bottomed flasks favor equable 
boiling, but they are liable to collapse. 

As a condenser^ I have used, instead of the large flask, a cop- 
per vessel, for more ready application of heat without danger of 
breaking, and for more efficient refrigeration. This copper re- 
ceiver is made of conical shape, with rounded bottom, a vertical 
diameter twice its horizontal diameter, and a neck bent to the 
angle of about 56° with the vertical axis of the vessel. The 
diameter of the neck is f of an inch, to receive a retort beak, 
the joint being covered with a section of caoutchouc tubing. Or 
it may be fitted with a perforated stopper, to receive the con- 
necting tube of the flask when evaporation is conducted in the 

With linen netting to spread the water over the free surface of 
the condensers, the evaporation therefrom refrigerates with a 
comparatively small supply of water. Using a copper condenser 
of the above described shape, a vertical diameter of 12 inches, 
and capacity of six pints, attached to an 8-ounce glass retort 
containing distillation promoters, I have vaporized 4 fluidounces 
of water in sixteen minutes at the constant temperature of 128° 
F. By ordinary care in the expulsion of air and closure of the 
apparatus, exhaustion can be invariably secured, fixing the 
water-boiling point at below 130° F.; that is, atmospheric press- 
ure equal to at least 25 inches of mercury may be removed and 
sustained by availing ourselves of the displacing effect of steam, 
and the contraction of condensing vapor, in very simple appa- 

Notwithstanding the illustrations of vacuum by condensation, 



which abound upon the physical lecture table, I do not know 
whether the devices suggested in this note have been tried or 
proposed for small chemical operations by any one else.* I have 
recommended them to students, and we have found them satis 
factory for various analytical, experimental, and pharmaceutical 
operations. We have employed them chiefly in such evapora- 
tions as are performed for the residue only, or, at least, not for 
quantitative recovery of the distillate, in various evaporations of 
quantitative analysis, in the elimination of non-volatile alkaloids, 
in determining the organic matter in water, and in preparing 
fluid extracts. To evaporate at ordinary temperatures by hand- 
pump exhaustion is especially irksome in those cases when appli- 
cation of 125° to 150° F. is objectionable. And to connect a 
vessel under which heat may be applied with the air-pump in- 
volves quite as much labor as the arrangement of apparatus for 

exhaustion by condensation. American Supplement to Chem. 

News J New York, Jan., 1870. 


By 0. LoEw, 
Assistant in the College of the City of New York. 

(Read before the " Lyceum of Natural Science," New York.) 

We know that plants under the influence of the sunlight re- 
duce carbonic acid and water to organic compounds, and organ- 
ized parts ; w^e know further, that the albuminous principles, as 
well as some ethereal vegetable oils, contain sulphur which 
doubtless comes from the sulphates contained in the soil. As 
regards this reduction of sulphuric acid, it seemed to me of 
interest to ascertain whether sunlight possesses any reducing 
power upon the oxygen compounds of sulphur out of the 
tissues of the plant. For this purpose I exposed diluted sul- 
phuric acid, solutions of sulphates and sulphites and aqueous 
sulphurous acid under various conditions, in sealed tubes to the 
sunlight during the last summer. 

^ This method of producing a partial vacuum was employed by Barry 
(See U. S. Dispensatory — Evaporation of Extracts) more than forty years 
ago in making extracts and volatile oils. — Editor Amer. Jour. Pharm. 



It was only with the sulphurous acid that any change was 
noticed. The tubes containing this substance remained clear 
during tivo months^ but after that time a disturbance set in 
which slowly increased, and sulphur was deposited in a finely 
divided state. 

The sulphurous acid was thus gradually reduced to sulphur, 
but the oxygen was not liberated, another part of the acid hav- 
ing been oxydized by it to sulphuric acid. It seems very sin- 
gular that a space of two months elapsed before any change was 
observed ; it appears that the absorption of a great amount of 
light was necessary for the separation of the first atom of sul- 
phur, which was followed then by more atoms in much shorter 
intervals of time. — Amer. Jour. Science and Arts, 

New York, December, 1869. 

By M. Gaston Tissandier. 

The name of soap is given to true salts, formed by combining 
fatty acids (oleic, margaric,) with alkalies, such as soda or pot- 
ash. The quality of a soap is ascertained by determining the 
proportion of fatty acid and alkali which it contains, and also 
the foreign substances — such as chlorides, alkaline sulphates, 
moisture, &c. — which always occur in varying proportions. 

Fatt^ Acids. — Dissolve 5 grms. of the soap in question in J a 
litre of distilled water, heated in a porcelain capsule ; when dis- 
solved, add a slight excess of dilute sulphuric acid, and let it 
boil for some minutes, so that the fatty acids may become sepa- 
rated and float upon the liquid. To weigh the fatty acids, cool 
them, and they will form a cake of grease, which must then be 
fused, in order to dry them, in a small tared porcelain capsule ; 
this capsule, when again weighed, will give the amount of fatty 
acids corresponding to 5 grms. of soap. 

Wax may also be used to facilitate the weighing. After the 
first part of the operation has been performed, and the fatty 
acids are floating, add 7 grms. of white wax, which will melt 

* Moniteur Scientifique. 



and mingle with them ; cool the whole, take out the cake of wax, 
and weigh it, previously drying it between double filtering 
papers. The excess of weight gives the proportion of fatty 

Ash — Soda. — Calcine, at red heat, 5 grms. of soap in a pla- 
tinum capsule. Weigh the ash thus obtained, and dissolve it in 
200 c.c. of distilled water; determine the proportion of soda in 
100 c.c. by means of normal sulphuric acid (alkalimetric stand- 
ard), evaporate to dryness, and notice the action of bichloride 
of platinum upon the residue dissolved in water, to ascertain 
whether it consists of potash or soda. The estimation of the 
soda may be verified by directly taking the alkalimetric standard 
of the soap (5 grs.). 

Chloride of Sodium. — Estimate the chlorine in 50 c.c. of the 
solution with the standard silver solution. 

Sulphate of Soda. — The sulphuric acid is estimated in the re- 
maining 50 c.c. of the solution with chloride of barium. 

Nan- Saponified Fatty Bodies. — These also occur in soap, and 
may be detected as follows : Dry 5 grms. of soap at 110°, after 
which treat it with common ether. Agitate it with that liquid 
in a flask, filter it, wash with ether, and evaporate the solution 
at 100° ; the residue will be the non-saponified fatty bodies. 
The ether may, perhaps, dissolve a little of the soap ; it must, 
therefore, be ascertained that the residue is really fat — melt it, 
and try whether it will soil glazed paper. 

Non- Saponified Carbonate of Soda. — Cut 5 grms. of soap 
into small fragments, and treat them with boiling alcohol, which 
does not dissolve carbonate of soda. Filter, and treat the in- 
soluble residue with alcoholic acetic acid, which dissolves the 
carbonate of soda without acting on the sulphate of soda and 
chloride of sodium. The acetic solution, evaporated to dryness 
and calcined, leaves, as a residue, carbonate of soda. Weigh it, 
and, if verification be required, take its alkalimetric standard. 

Glycerin. — Dissolve 5 grms. of soap in boiling water, decom- 
pose it with dilute sulphuric acid, and separate the isolated fatty 
acids by decantation. The liquid, which is completely neu- 
tralised by the carbonate of soda, is now evaporated to dryness 



over a water-bath at 100° C; the residue, composed of sulphate 
of soda and glycerin, is taken up by alcohol, which dissolves 
only the latter ; it is then filtered and evaporated to dryness, 
when the residue will be glycerin. This is again taken up by 
alcohol, re-evaporated, and the residue again weighed, after 
ascertaining that it possesses all the properties of glycerin. 

Water. — Cut the soap into thin slices ; weigh 5 grms., and 
dry them on a stove at 120° C. 


Substances estimated. 





Water, .... 

. 46-12 




Soda, .... 

. 4-98 




Fatty acids, 

. 37-99 




Chloride of sodium, . 





Sulphate of soda, 

. 0-72 




Fatty bodies, 

, 1-00 


. 2-89 


100 00 


100 00 

100 00 

\_Chemical News^ London, Feh, 4, 1870. 

By Dr. Rochleder. 

After referring at some length to the labors of many chemists, 
as well as those made by himself on this subject some years ago, 
the author enters into a discussion on the statements made by 
MM. Graebe and Liebermann respecting the composition of 
chrysophanic acid, and then says, that he has taken the trouble 
to prepare this acid in pure state from rheine, as prepared by 
Dr. Marquardt, at Bonn ; this substance consists mainly of 
chrysophanic acid, emodine, and impurities ; the composition of 
pure emodine dried at 100° is, in 100 parts, C, 65-75; H, 4-29; 
0, 30*18 ; formula: C^oHg^Ojo ; the formula which Messrs. Graebe 
and Liebermann give for chrysophanic acid, viz., C^^IIgO^, can- 
not, according to the author of this paper, be the correct one, 
and this the less so, as no less than six different chemists have 
found for the formulae of this substance, prepared from different 
sources and at various periods, the formula, ^s>flJ^ii—^ 



(Ci4Hjo04)+H20, because the 11 fi of crystallization is only 
driven off at 115° ; it should be kept in view that emodine is 
very difficult to separate from chrysophanic acid, and M. Roch- 
leder suspects that the statements of Messrs. Graebe and Lei- 
bermann about the action of pulverized zinc upon chrysophanic 
acid are vitiated by the presence of emodine in the acid used for 
these experiments. — Chemical News, London, Jan. 7, 1870. 


At a recent meeting of the Lyceum of Natural History, in 
New York, a paper was read by Dr. Loew, assistant in the Col- 
lege of New York, On the Preparation of Hydrogen Amal- 

The researches of Graham went to show that hydrogen could 
be alloyed with palladium, and that it was also contained in me- 
teoric iron. He condensed the hydrogen in the palladium, and 
came nearer proving its metallic character than any other person 
had done. Schoenbein in his search for ozone, found a method 
for making the peroxide of hydrogen, which brought him to the 
very threshold of discovering hydrogenium. Schoenbein's ex- 
periment was this — An amalgam of zinc and mercury is violently 
agitated in water ; the water is then filtered, and, on being ex- 
amined with iodide of starch and protosulphate of iron, will be 
found to contain peroxide of hydrogen or oxygenated water. 
Dr. Loew has carried the investigation further, and has, instead 
of oxidising the hydrogen, succeeded in combining it with the 
mercury. He takes an amalgam composed of not more than 3 
or 4 per cent, of zinc, and shakes it with a solution of bichloride 
of platinum ; the liquid becomes black, and a dark powder settles 
to the bottom. The contents of the flask are then thrown into 
water, and hydrochloric acid added to dissolve the excess of 
zinc. The amalgam of hydrogen and mercury at once forms in 
a brilliant voluminous mass, resembling in every way the well- 
known ammonium amalgam. It is soft and spongy, and rapidly 
decomposes, but without any smell of ammonia. The hydrogen 
escapes, and soon nothing but pure mercury is left in the dish. 
The experiment appears to show conclusively that an amalgam of 



hydrogen and mercury can be formed, and that hydrogen is really 
a metal. It would also throw some doubt upon the existence of 
the amalgam of ammonium and mercury, and offer an explana- 
tion of that compound on the basis of its being the same amal- 
gam of hydrogen and mercury that is prepared in the way now 
pointed out by Dr. Loew. The smell of escaping ammonia must 
be traced to some other source than the existence of that radical 
in combination with mercury. — Chem. News, Lond., May Vdth, 
1870, from Scientific American. 


To the Editor of the Journal of the Franklin Institute : 

Sir, — The valuable metal, nickel, now employed extensively in 
preparing various alloys resembling silver, for table use, and in 
making the coins of the United States and other countries, has 
been but seldom found in this country. In small but not paying 
quantities, there are several localities of it; and the only one 
which promises to yield it in abundance is the deposit of Mine la 
Motte, Missouri, so celebrated already for its copper, lead, iron, 
and other ores. A specimen of nickel linnseite or siegenite has 
been received at the Geological and Mineralogical Cabinet of 
the Greneral Land Office, yielding over 30 per cent, of nickel. 
Nickel was discovered in 1751, by Cronstedt, in Sweden. It is 
a metal of a color not much differing from that of silver ; it is 
magnetic, soft, and malleable ; may be forged, rolled, bored, 
drawn into wire, &c.; it is more tenacious than iron, and less 
subject to oxidation than silver. In the year 1824 (the state- 
ment may yet be found in Thenard's Traite de Chemie), it was 
stated that the metal, nickel, could not be put to any use. How- 
ever, it was long before this that nickel was employed by the 
Chinese for the preparations of an alloy termed by them " Pack- 
fong;" and, although, in 1776, Englestroem had analyzed this 
composition, no practical application of this metal was made for 
some time. 

The separation of nickel from its ores is exceedingly difficult 
and complicated. The crude material is the cobalt speiss and 
the matt obtained in lead and copper smelting works. In order 



to free this material from arsenic and sulphur, it is first finely 
pulverized and roasted with pidverized coal. The residue is dis- 
solved in muriatic acid, and the solution diluted with much water 
in order to separate the bismuth. If the liquid is now mixed 
with hypochlorite of lime, the iron is oxidised to a peroxide, 
when it may be precipitated with the arsenic acid existing in the 
liquid. If the liquid is to be freed from copper, a current of 
hydrogen is conveyed through the same, and, having separated 
the prcipitate produced, the cobalt is thrown down by hypochlo- 
rite of lime. Now the nickel may be separated with milk of 
lime. In subjecting the precipitate, with carbon, to a red heat, 
the metal may be obtained in its pure state. The manufacture 
of "Packfong" in Europe is not of a very old date. The term 
is synonymous with argentum, German-silver, British-plate. Its 
composition varies considerably, as may be seen from the follow- 

ing table : 







. 88-00 . 

. 65-0 . 

. 43-8 . 

. 40-4 . 

. 55-0 . 

. 50-0 


. 8-75 . 

. 16-8 . 

. 15-6 . 

. 31-6 . 

. 20-0 . 

. 25-0 

. 13-0 . 

. 40-6 . 

. 25-4 . 

. 25-0 . 

. 25 

, 1-75 . 

. 3-4 . 

. 2-6 . 







It may be seen from this that an alloy may be made with less 
than 10 per cent, of nickel ; but the wearing quality of the 
metal is decidedly injured by too great a reduction in the quality 
of nickel. 

I will remark that No. 1 is the so-called "white copper," 
made in Suhl, Germany, a century ago, with copper ores con- 
taining nickel, and analyzed by Brandes. No. 2 is an alloy, 
made at Paris, which is capable of receiving a fine polish or 
gilding. Nos. 3 and 4 are Chinese packfong. No. 5 is an alloy 
as used for knife handles. No. 6 is adapted for forks. The 
nickel coins of Switzerland, which have been in use in that 
country since 1850, consist of an alloy of nickel, copper, zinc, 
and silver. The proportion of nickel and zinc in the 20, 10, and 
5 centimes pieces is 1*25. While the amount of copper in- 
creases with the decreasing value of the coin, the quantity of 
silver, on the other hand, decreases with the smaller value. Th 



United States' coins now in general circulation contain 88 per 
cent, of copper and 12 per cent, of nickel. 


Geologist^ General Land Office^ Washington. 
Jan, 20, 1870. —Journ. Frajiklin Institute, Feb., 1870. 

By Professor Tyndall, F.R.S.* 

The theory of disease was never discussed with more earnest- 
ness, or with greater precision, than at the present time. The 
exact methods pursued in physics and chemistry, both as regards 
reasoning and experiment, are making their influence felt in 
medicine and surgery ; and they promise, while assigning but nar- 
row limits to our present accurate knowledge, to insure its healthy 
growth. It is, I think, of capital importance to mark each suc- 
cessive step by which that knowledge is surely and certainly 
augmented ; to detach from the domain of vagueness and uncer- 
tainty each successive fragment of demonstrated truth. Now, 
if the published data be correct, it seems to me that such a step 
has been recently taken with reference to the germ theory of 
the putrefaction of wounds, and that the evidence in favor of 
that theory amounts to a physical demonstration of its truth. 
This result and its basis I propose here to describe and define. 

The entrance of air into a wound is the dread of the surgeon. 
When an abscess is opened he must prevent the air from mingling 
with the blood-clots if he would avoid putrefaction and its teem- 
ing accompaniment of animalcule life. Some eminent London 
surgeons inform me that they never squeeze an abscess, lest when 
the pressure is relaxed the air should be sucked in. Now, 
whence this dreaded power ? Is it the air itself that causes pu- 
trefaction, or is it something carried mechanically by the air ? 
A follower of Gay-Lussac would aflirm the former ; a hetero- 
genist would refer the animalcules to "spontaneous generation ;" 
a holder of the germ theory would ascribe the putrefaction to 
seeds or eggs floating in the atmosphere, and which, when sown 
upon the wound, sprout into this crop of minute organisms. Do 

* Contributed to the Times, April 7. 



any data exist which will enable us to say, with certainty, which 
party is right ? I think so. 

It would be very difficult to reduce the putrefying power of 
pure air, even if it existed, to absolute demonstration ; for, how- 
ever cleansed in appearance, a stubborn objector might still urge 
that the air was not cleansed in reality ; that germs exist, though 
they baffle our attempts to reveal them. But this difficulty does 
not hamper the other side ; for if, notwithstanding the risk of 
these residual germs, visibly pure air can be proved incompetent 
to produce the phenomena of putrefaction, there is no escape 
from the inference that, as regards the point to be decided, such 
air is perfectly filtered ; and its proved impotence would be a 
demonstration of the truth of the germ theory. By " visibly 
pure air " I mean air which, where traversed by a powerful and 
intensely concentrated beam of light, in a space not otherwise 
illuminated, reveals no trace of floating matter to the eye. 

How, then, are we to obtain our filtered air, and, having ob- 
tained it, how are we to apply it to a wound and mix it elfect- 
ualiy with the blood ? Two or three years ago an observation 
and an inference, wdiich, taken together, reflect the highest credit 
on his sagacity, were made and drawn by Professor Joseph 
Lister, of Edinburgh. He found, and I believe it is the universal 
experience of surgery to find, that when the lung is wounded by 
the spike of a broken rib, air from the pleural cavity may mingle 
freely with the blood, but that putrefaction never ensues. Here 
is the statement of Professor Lister, abbreviated, but in his own 
words : — 

" I have explained to my own mind the remarkable fact that in simple 
fractures of the ribs, if the lung be penetrated by a fragment, the blood 
effused into the pleural cavity, though freely mixed with air, undergoes 
no decomposition. The air is sometimes pumped into the pleural cavity 
in such abundance that, making its way through the wound, it inflates 
the cellular tissues of the whole body. Yet this occasions (as regards 
putrefaction) no alarm to the surgeon. Why air introduced into the 
pleural cavity through a wounded lung should have such wholly dififerent 
efifects from that entering through a permanently open wound penetrating 
from without, was to me a complete mystery till I heard of the germ 
theory of putrefaction, when it at once occurred to me that it was only 
natural that the air should be filtered of germs by the air passages, one 
of whose offices is to arrest inhaled particles of dast, and prevent them 



from entering the air-cells. In truth, this fact in practical surgery, when 
duly considered, affords as good evidence in support of the germ theory 
of putrefaction as any experiment that can be performed artificially.* 

Here is a surmise which bears upon it the mark of genius, but 
which nevertheless needs verification. If in the place of the 
words it is only natural," we were authorized to write "it is 
perfectly certain," the demonstration would be complete. Now, 
this is exactly what experiments with a beam of light enable us 
to do. One evening towards the close of last year, while pour- 
ing various gases across the dust track of a beam in the labora- 
tory of the Royal Institution, the thought occurred to me of dis- 
placing by my breath the illuminated dust. I then noticed, for 
the first time, the extraordinary darkness produced by the air 
expired towards the end of an expiration. By an intentional 
effort of expulsion the lungs may be far more effectually emptied 
of air than by ordinary respiration ; and by such an effort, which 
discharges the air from the interior portion of the lungs into the 
beam, the darkness is changed to absolute blackness. There is 
no speck or mote of any kind in such air. It is a true elastic 
fluid, without a trace of cloud or floating matter. 

Thus, by ocular evidence we prove the filtering power of the 
lungs, and by the experience of surgery we prove the incompe- 
tence of air so filtered to produce putrefaction. The germs re- 
moved by the process of filtration are therefore the cause of the 
putrefaction, and its associated phenomena of animalcule life, 
which was to be demonstrated. 

As a guide to the practical surgeon the establishment of this 
fact is plainly of the very highest importance. Professor Lister 
now avails himself of the filtering power of cotton wool in treat- 
ing a numerous class of wounds. He first destroys the germs 
adherent to the wool, and by a proper lotion he kills those which 
may be scattered on the flesh. The cleansed w^ool placed upon 
the wound permits of a free diffusion of the air, but entirely 
intercepts the germs, and thus keeps the blood perfectly sweet. 
It is essential that no matter from the w^ound should reach the 
outside air, for such matter would open a highway for the ani- 
malcules. I may add that when the foregoing observations on 

* British Medical Journal, 1868, p. 56. 



the filtering power of the lungs were made I had no thought, 
and but little knowledge, of the germ theory. Their value as 
evidence is enhanced by the consideration that they are abso- 
lutely independent of all theoretic bias.* — The Chem. and Drug., 
Lond., May 14, 1870. 

Col. Emmons Clark, 

Secretary Metropolitan Board of Health. 
Sir : — In response to the resolution of the Board, directing 
the Chemist to examine the various hair tonics, washes, cos- 
metics, and other toilet preparations in general use, and to re- 
port what ingredients, if any, they contain of a character injur- 
ious or dangerous to those who use them," I beg leave to submit 
the following report of the results thus far reached. My ex- 
amination has been specially directed to the mineral poisons ; 
no tests have been as yet made for vegetable or animal sub- 
stances, as, for example, cantharides, which I have reason to 
believe is sometimes employed. 

The articles which I have examined may be classed as : 
I. Hair tonics, washes, and restoratives. 
II. Lotions for the skin. 

III. Enamels. 

IV. White powders for the skin. 

I. Hair Tonics. Washes, and Restoratives. 

Of these sixteen have been examined, and, with but one ex- 
ception, all have been found to contain lead, generally in the 
form of acetate or sugar of lead. 

1. Hoyt's Hiawatha Hair Restorative. David Wright, Pro- 
prietor, 112 South Street, New York. 

This is an ammoniacal solution of nitrate of silver, containing 

*The black wreaths produced by placing the flame of a spirit lamp 
underneath the track of a sunbeam may now ibe clearly though imper- 
fectly seen in every drawing-room in London. The light, save that pass- 
ing through a single aperture, ought, as far as possible, to be excluded. 
A candle dame also shows the effect, but very imperfectly. 


4*78 grains of the nitrate in one fluid ounce. It contains no 
other metals. 

2. Clark's Distilled Restorative for the Hair. C. G. Clark 
& Co., Proprietors. 

This preparation contains in one fluid ounce : 

Lead in solution . . . .0-31 grains. 

3. Chevalier s Life for the Hair. Prepared by S. A. Cheva- 
lier, M.D., 1123 Broadway, New York. 

One fluid ounce contains : 

Lead in solution .... 0*22 grains. 
Lead in the sediment . . . 0-80 " 

Total lead .... 1-02 " 

4. Pearson ^ Co.'s Circassian Hair Mejuvenator, J. S. Pear- 
son & Co., 386 Jaj street, Brooklyn, K Y. 

One fluid ounce contains : 

Lead in solution . . . . 1*40 grains. 
Lead in the sediment . . . 1-31 " 

Total lead .... 2-71 " 

5. Ayers Hair Vigor. Prepared by J. C. Ayer & Co., 
Lowell, Mass. 

One fluid ounce contains : 

Lead in solution .... 2-81 grains. 
Lead in the sediment . . . 0*08 " 

Total lead .... 2-89 " 

6. Prof Wood's Hair Restorative. 0. J. Wood & Co., 444 
Broadway, New York. 

One fluid ounce contains : 

Lead in solution .... 2*93 grains. 
Lead in the sediment . . . 0*15 " 

Total lead . . . . 3-08 " 

7. The Hair Restorer of America. Prepared by Dr. J. J. 
O'Brien, 202 East 30th street, New York. 

One fluid ounce contains : 

Lead in solution .... 3*28 grains. 


8. G-ray's Celebrated Hair Restorative. Day, Hoagland & 
Stiger, 54 Courtland street, New York. 

One fluid ounce contains : 

Lead in solution .... a trace. 
Lead in the sediment . . . 3-39 grains. 

Total lead .... 3-39 " 

9. Phalons Vitalia. Prepared by Phalon & Son, 517 Broad- 
way, New York. 

Consists of two fluids in separate bottles. 

No. 1 is a clear, pale yellow solution of hyposulphite of soda. 
No. 2 is a clear, pale pink solution, containing in one fluid 
ounce : 

Lead 14-08 grains. 

As, by the directions which accompany the package, the lead 
solution is to be diluted with twice its volume of the hyposulphite 
solution, the strength of the mixture would be reduced to one- 
third, when it would contain 4*69 grains of lead in one fluid 
ounce. Prof. Lawrence Reid, the manufacturers' chemist, claims 
that the hyposulphite of soda renders the lead harmless by ulti- 
mately forming with it an insoluble sulphide of lead, and in 
various other ways. But after carefully considering all his 
arguments, I am compelled to say that I cannot accept them as 

10. Rings Vegetable Ambrosia. E. M. Tubbs & Co., Pro- 
prietors, Peterboro, N. H. 

One fluid ounce contains : 

Lead in the solution . . .4*69 grains. 
Lead in the sediment . . . 0*31 " 

Total lead .... 5-00 " 

11. Mrs. S. A. Aliens World's Hair Restorer. 198 and 200 
Greenwich street. New York, and 266 High Holburn, London, 

One fluid ounce contains : 

Lead in solution .... 5-26 grains. 
Lead in the sediment . . . 0-31 " 

Totallead .... 5-57 " 



12. L, KnitteVs Indian Hair Tonique. Louis Knittel, 616 
Eighth avenue, New York. 

One fluid ounce contains : 

Lead in solution .... 5*16 grains. 

Lead in the sediment . . . 1*13 " 

Total lead .... 6-29 " 

13. HalVs Vegetable Sicilian Hair Renewer. R. P. Hall & 
Co., Nashua, N. H. 

One fluid ounce contains : 

Lead in solution .... 6*45 grains. 
Lead in the sediment . . . 0*68 

Total lead .... 743 " 

14. Br, Tehhetfs Physiological Hair Regenerator. Tebbett 
Bros., Proprietors, Manchester, N. H. 

One fluid ounce contains : 

Lead in solution .... 6*82 grains. 
Lead in the sediment . . . 0*62 

Total lead .... 7*44 " 

15. Martha Washington's Hair Restorative. Prepared by 
Simonds & Co., Fitzwilliam, N. H. 

One fluid ounce contains : 

Lead in solution .... 3*01 grains. 
Lead in the sediment . . . 6*79 

Total lead .... 9-80 " 

16. Singer s Hair Restorative. Depot 643 Broadway, and 
79 Nassau street, New York. 

One fluid ounce contains : 

Lead in solution .... 0*15 grains. 
Lead in the sediment . . . 6*79 " 

Total lead . . . .» 16-39 " 

Recapitulation. — Only one of this class of preparations is free 
from lead, which metal seems indeed to be the essential constituent 
in most cases. Most of the sediments observed in the bottles, 
and which require that the bottle " be well shakeny" etc., con- 



sist of sulphur, which it is intended shall ultimately unite with 
the lead to produce the dark-colored sulphide of lead, or, as one 
of the manufacturers has it, " the original youthful beauty and 
color.'' The following tabular statement shows how the poisonous 
hair nostrums compare among themselves : 

Grains of Lead in one fluid ounce. 

1. Clark's Distilled Restorative for the Hair 

. 0-11 

2. Chevalier's Life for the Hair 

. 1-02 

3. Circassian Hair Rejuvenator 

. 2-71 

A A ? TT • "XT' 

4. Ajer s Hair Vigor ..... 

o on 

5. Prof. Wood's Hair Restorative 

. 8-08 

6. Dr. J. J. O'Brien's Hair Restorer of America 

. 3-28 

7. Gray's Celebrated Hair Restorative 

. 3-39 

8. Phalon's Vitalia 

. 4-69 

9. Ring's Vegetable Ambrosia .... 

. 5-00 

10. Mrs. S. A. Allen's World's Hair Restorer . 

. 5-57 

11. L. Knittel's Indian Hair Tonique . 

. 6-29 

12. Hall's Vegetable Sicilian Hair Renewer 

. 713 

13. Dr. Tebbett's Physiological Hair Regenerator 

. 7-44 

14. Martha Washington's Hair Restorative . 

. 9-80 

15. Singer's Hair Restorative .... 

. 16-39 

II. Lotions or Washes for the Complexion. 

1. Burnett's Kalliston. Joseph Burnett & Co., Boston, Mass. 
Contains no injurious metals. 

2. Phalons Paphian Lotion, or Floral Beautifier. Phalon k 
Son, 517 Broadway, New York. Contains no injurious metals. 

3. Enamel of America. Frangois Gregoire k Co., cor. of 
Eighth and Locust streets, Phila. A clear, colorless liquid, con- 
taining no injurious metals. 

4. Lmail de Paris, de Jared. Jared et Renf, Paris. A pink 
alcoholic liquid, free from injurious metals. 

5. Balm of a Thousand Flowers. A thick yellow emulsion, 
free from injurious metals. 

6. Perry s Moth and Freckle Lotion. Dr. B. C. Perry, 49 
Bond street. New York. 

A colorless liquid, with a little white sediment. 
One fluid ounce contains : 



Mercury in solution . . . 2*67 grains. 
Zinc u ... 0-99 " 

Equivalent to — 

Corrosive sublimate . . . 3*61 " 
Sulphate of zinc (crystallized) . 4*25 
The sediment contains a little mercury, lead, and bismuth. 

Recapitulation. — With the exception of Perry's Moth and 
Freckle Lotion, these lotions are entirely free from lead or other 
injurious metals. 

III. Enamels for the skin. 

1. Balm of White Lilies^ for preserving and beautifying the 
shin, H. A. Hoadley, New York. 

Water colored pink, and holding in suspension a large amount 
of carbonate of lime. It does not contain any injurious metals. 

2. Dr. Bradford s Enameline for the Complexion, 

A colorless liquid, holding 33*02 grains of oxide of zinc in 
suspension in each fluid ounce. Is free from lead. 

3. Hagan's Magnolia Balm. Demas Barnes & Co., New 

A colorless liquid, holding in suspension in each fluid ounce 
118-61 grains of oxide of zinc. Is free from lead. 

4. Laird's Bloom of Youth, or Liciuid Pearl. Geo. W. 
Laird, 74 Fulton street. New York. 

A colorless liquid, holding in suspension in each fluid ounce 
169 grains of oxide of zinc. It is entirely free from lead. 

5. Eugenie's Favorite. M'lles T, & L. Jouvin, late of Kue 
St. Anne, Paris. 

A colorless solution, holding in suspension in each fluid ounce 
140*52 grains of carbonate of lead, white lead, containing 108'94 
grains of metallic lead. There is a trace of lead dissolved in 
the liquid. 

■ 6. Snow-white Enamel, for Whitening and Beautifying the 
Complexion. Phalon & Sons, 517 Broadway, New York. 

A colorless liquid, holding in suspension in each fluid ounce 
186*67 grains of carbonate of lead, equivalent to 



Metallic lead in sediment. . . 144-72 grains. 
Lead in solution . . . 1*56 

Total lead .... 146-28 " 

7. Snow-ivMte Oriental Cream^ for Whitening and Beautify- 
ing the Complexion. Phalon & Sons, 517 Broadway New York. 

A colorless liquid, holding in suspension in each fluid ounce 
246 grains of carbonate of lead ; equivalent to 

Lead in suspension . . . 190-22 grains. 
Lead in solution . . . 0-77 " 

Total lead . . . . 190-99 " 

Recapitulation. The Enamels consist of white powders sus- 
pended in clear liquids ; on standing the powders subside, but 
agitation quickly incorporates them with the liquids again. The 
following contain lead, mostly, if not entirely, in the form of 
carbonate ; they are therefore simply "white lead " ground in 

Grains of lead in one fluid ounce after shaking. 
Eugenie's Favorite ..... 108 94 grains. 
Phalon's Snow-white Enamel .... 146-28 " 
Phalon's Snow-white Oriental Cream . . 190-99 " 

IV. White Powders for the Skin. 

1. John Irvine's Compound Chinese Tablet of Alabaster con- 
sists of carbonate of lime, free from injurious metals. 

2. Shand's Coinpound Chinese Tablet of Alabaster consists of 
carbonate of lime, free from injurious metals. 

3. Superior Lily White, X. Bazin, Philadelphia, consists of 
carbonate of lime and carbonate of magnesia, free from injurious 

4. Cascarilla de Caracol de Persia., R. & C. A. Wright, Phila- 
delphia, consists of carbonate of lime, and some earthy matter 
insoluble in acids, either clay or "French chalk ;" is free from 
injurious metals. 

5. The Original Tablet of Alabaster^ or Lily White Cosmetic, 
consists of carbonate of lime, with some clay or " French chalk*/' 
is free from injurious metals. 



6. Bismuth Powder for Beautifying the Shin and removing 
Freckles consists of carbonate of lime, with much clay or 
"French chalk;" is free from injurious metals. 

7. LaveVs Lily White and Rose Bloom consists of clay or 
" French chalk ;" is free from injurious metals. 

Recapitulation. — The white powders consist of carbonate of 
lime, carbonate of magnesia, clay, or " French chalk ;" either 
singly or mixed. Nothing injurious was detected in any one of 

Conclusion. — It appears from the foregoing: — 
1- The Hair Tonics, Washes and Restoratives contain lead in 
considerable quantities ; that they owe their action to this metal, 
and that they are consequently highly dangerous to the health 
of persons using them. 

2. With a single exception, Perry's Moth and Freckle Lotion, 
which contains corrosive sublimate, the Lotions for the skin are 
free from lead and other injurious metals. 

3. That the Enamels are composed of either carbonate of 
lime, oxide of zinc, or carbonate of lead, suspended in water. 
The first two classes of enamels are comparatively harmless, as 
harmless as any other white dirt when plastered over the skin 
to close the pores and prevent its healthy action. On the other 
hand, the enamels composed of carbonate of lead are highly 
dangerous, and their use is very certain to produce disastrous 
results to those who patronize thera. 

4. The white powders for the skin are harmless, except in so 
far as their application may interfere with the healthy action of 
the skin. Respectfully submitted, 

C. F. Chandler, Ph.D. 
Chemist to the Metropolitan Board of Health. 

By Julius Lowe. 
The contents of this paper are the answers given to four 
queries, viz. : — (1) Does benzoic acid pre-exist in gum-benzoin 
ready-formed and in free state ? (2) Is the benzoic acid present 
in the resin combined with a base ? (3) Is benzoic acid a pro- 



duct of the oxidation of a part of the resin formed by the taking 
up of oxygen during the melting of the resin ? (4) Is benzoic 
acid a product of a portion of the resin formed by the heat of 
the fusion of that substance ? The author's experiments, de- 
tailed at great length, commenced with the finding of a reply to 
Ko. 3, and the result is a negative- — viz., that when the process 
of sublimation (as usually employed for obtaining benzoic acid 
from gum benzoin) is carried on in atmospheres of hydrogen or 
carbonic acid gas, the quantity and quality of the acid obtained 
are the same as when the process is carried on in contact with 
air. As regards the replies to Nos. 1, 2, and 4, a series of ex- 
periments made in various ways proved, undoubtedly, the pre- 
existence of ready-formed benzoic acid in the resin. The last 
portion of this paper is devoted to the very minutely detailed 
description of the best practical method of the preparation of 
benzoic acid from the resin. — ^Chem. JYews, Lond., March 25, 


By H. Reinscii. 

Our readers are all acquainted with the vegetable known as 
asparagus ; they also know that, when this plant comes to full 
development towards the latter end of the summer, it produces 
berries of the size of medium green peas, of dark red color, and 
a waxy appearance. The author has instituted some experi- 
ments, and investigated the nature of these berries, which en- 
close four black-colored, somewhat angular-shaped, internally 
greenish seeds, made up of a horny material, like raw coffee^ 
but far more tough than the latter^ because, after drying, the 
asparagus seeds cannot be pulverized in a mortar. The author 
has collected a sufficient quantity of the berries to try whether 
the seeds might be used as 'a substitute for coffee. For this pur- 
pose the berries are bruised, and left to ferment for some days. 
The seeds are separated from the pulpy mass by means of a 
sieve.; next washed with water; dried and roasted in the same 
way as coffee. The author made a mixture of equal parts of 
coffee and asparagus seeds, which, after roasting, was not, when 
infused with boiling- water, in the least distinguishable from ex- 



cellent coffee. The berries contain a large amount of glucose 
(grape sugar), and may, consequently, be used for the production 
of spirits, after fermentation. Of far more importance, how- 
ever, may be a substance which the author has discovered in the 
berries, — viz., the pigment contained therein, and named spar- 
gancine — a yellowish red coloring matter, soluble in alcohol and 
ether, and yielding, with salts of lead and alumina, yellow-colored 
pigments. The author's researches on this subject are not com- 
plete, owing to want of sufficient raw material. As regards the 
horny seeds they contain oil, grape sugar, a peculiarly bitter 
principle, spargine, some resin, and a coloring matter. It ap- 
pears that the crop of asparagus berries (at least, in the neigh- 
borhood of Niirnberg, Bavaria, where the author resides) is very 
large ; a single plant yielded more than J lb. of berries. — Chem, 
News, Lond,, May G, 1870. 


Dr. Hofmann, who was present at the last meeting of the 
Chemical Society, related some interesting facts connected with 
the manufacture of chloral in Berlin. 

It appears that in many of the Grerman distilleries the crude 
spirit is purified by filtration through a deep bed of charcoal. In 
consequence of the adoption of this method a considerable quan- 
tity of aldehyd is generated in the spirit ; and in these distilleries 
a certain portion of the produce is so far contaminated with this 
substance as to be unfit for any of the uses of spirit of wine. 
Since the manufacture of chloral has become a matter of so 
much importance (Dr. Hofmann states that one maker in Berlin 
is producing a hundred pounds per day), it appeared likely that 
this spirit, containing aldehyd, would find an economic applica- 
tion. The formula of chloral indicates that it is the chlorine 
derivative of aldehyd, and the first action of chlorine upon al- 
cohol is to remove two atoms of hydrogen, liberating aldehyd, 
which, by a substitution change, is then converted into chloral : 
CJigO-f-Cl^ = C2H4O+2HCI. 
Alcohol. Aldehyd. 

CJI^O+Clg C,IICl30+3nCL 
Aldehyd, Chloral, 


The presence of aldebyd in alcohol ought, therefore, to be no 
detriment to its use in the preparation of chloral. Nevertheless, 
it was found that the product obtained from this spirit differed 
in some respects from the ordinary chloral. Analysis proved 
that it contained a distinct substance. 

It has been shown that when aldehyd is subjected to the ac- 
tion of hydrochloric acid gas, two molecules of it are deprived 
of the elements of water, and crotonic aldehyd results : — 

2(C,H,0) - H,0 = CAO. 
The hydrochloric acid resulting from the first part of the action 
therefore attacked the free aldehyd, and produced this change. 
By the further action of chloiine upon this crotonic aldehyd a 
chlorine derivative was obtained, having the composition C4H3- 
CI3O. Whether this body possesses the same medicinal proper- 
ties as the ordinary chloral has not been determined. — Pharm. 
Journ.^ Lond.^ May^ 1870. 

By Dr. A. E. Vogl. 
Forty grms. of the previously-pulverized bark are intimately 
mixed with ten grms. of quick-lime, and made into a thin paste 
with water ; and this mixture is dried (the temperature is not 
stated). The dried mass is pulverized, and repeatedly exhausted 
with boiling alcohol at 90 per cent. (600 c.c. are a sufficient 
quantity for this purpose) ; the alcoholic solution is filtered, and 
to the filtrate are added about 5 c.c. of dilute sulphuric acid. 
The ensuing precipitate of gypsum having been removed by fil- 
tration, the alcoholic fluid is submitted to distillation, and, after 
having been greatly reduced in bulk, is further evaporated to a 
very small bulk on a water-bath, whereby a flocculent, resinous, 
vanilla-like smelling aromatic substance is precipitated. After 
this material is again removed by filtration, to the filtrate is 
added a sufficient quantity of a solution of caustic soda as is re- 
quired for the precipitation of all the alkaloids contained in the 
bark. These bodies are, by this mode of treatment, obtained in a 
high degree of purity in the shape of a white caseous, or crystal- 
lino flocculent precipitate; this should be collected onapreviouslj 



tared filter, washed with the smallest possible quantity of water, 
and thoroughly dried, and next weighed. In order to separate 
the different bases from each other, the aforesaid precipitate is 
digested for twenty-four hours in a small flask with about 5 c.c. 
of ether. The ethereal solution is filtered off from the insoluble 
residue, which is first washed with ether, and next dissolved in 
alcohol. Each of the solutions so obtained is evaporated, yield- 
ing, in some instances, an amorphous, in others, a crystalline 
residue. These residues are dissolved in dilute sulphuric acid ; 
and, after these solutions have been filtered, the alkaloids are 
precipitated from these solutions by means of a caustic soda so- 
lution, which has been titrated so as to correspond with the dilute 
sulphuric acid applied as just stated. This method of the estima- 
tion of the value of the cinchona barks is recommended by the 
author for the reason — (1) that it is easily and rapidly executed ; 
(2) because it affords complete exhaustion of the valuable con- 
stituents of the bark, with very little, if any, loss ; (o) because 
the bases are obtained directly in a high degree of purity. Tliere 
are appended to this paper a series of results of analyses of 
various kinds of barks, made partly by this and partly by other 
well known methods, as devised by scientific men wlio, like Dr. 
de Vrij, Dr. Rabourdin, and Prof. Schneider, are high authori- 
ties on this subject. From the results here published, this method 
deserves every praise. — Chem. News, Load., April 14, 1870. 


The saffron whose stigmas find a use in pharmaceutical pre- 
parations, is cultivated in Gatinais (Loiret), and in the neighbor- 
hood of Orange and Carpentier (Vaucluse), in France. The 
plant requires a soil of very good quality, containing much sand 
and lime, so that water will be readily absorbed, and after evap- 
oration leave the soil again in a loose, not lumpy, condition. It 
is a soil similar to that employed in southern France for the 
cultivation of madder, and presents hardly any obstacles to the 
young rootlets, which is a necessary requirement for the success- 
ful growth of the plant. 

After a series of rather delicate operations, which tend to break 
up and prepare the soil, the bulbs are planted in the first half of 



July, at distances cf three-quarters of an inch, in rows, which are 
separated from each other about one foot. These bulbs remain in 
the earth for three years. The flowers appear in October, and are 
especially plentiful in the second year. They are gathered by 
hand and put in baskets to wither, without allowing them to be 
pressed. The harvest lasts from a fortnight to three or four 
weeks, and yields, on an average, three flowers from each bulb. 
Seven to eight thousand flowers are counted for one pound of 
fresh saffron, which will lose four fifths of its weight by drying. 
One pound of the dried safl"ron of commerce will therefore repre- 
sent 35,000 to 40,000 flowers. Immediately after gathering, the 
stigmas are removed from the flowers, and, without mixing the 
stamina, are put in small heaps. This part of the work is per- 
formed by women, children, and old men, and on account of the 
powerfully stupefying odor, as much as possible in the open air. • 
The drying of the safiron is eff'ected by hanging it, distributed 
on a hair sieve, over a low coal fire. After fifteen minutes the 
stigmas are stirred up and heated again. When dry the contents 
of the sieve are put on a large plate, not exposed to moisture, and 
allowed to get cold, when they are filled in well-dried linen bags, 
which are kept at a dry place. — Drug. Oir. ^ Chem. Gaz., May, 
1870, from Jour. Pharm. Chem. 


A NEW fossil resin, found in the phosphate beds of South 
Carolina, is thus described by Prof. Chas. U. Sheppard, in the 
Rural Carolinian : — " An irregular oval-shaped mass of a mineral 
closely resembling amber, has been brought to my notice. The 
mass was originally of the size of a man's fist. It is of a yellow- 
ish-brown color externally, but within is clove-brown. It breaks 
with about the same facility as amber ; has a conchoidal fracture, 
and a resinous lustre. It is feebly translucent. Its specific grav- 
ity is but slightly above that of water. Indeed, small fragments of 
it, when thrown into Avater, float for a short time, until they part 
with adhering air, when they slowly descend through the liquid. 
It is strongly electric by friction. It melts into a clear yellowish 
liquid at about 460° Fah. It gives off* succinic acid before it 
melts. On fusion a dense yellow oil is volatilized, attended with 



an agreeable balsamic odor, wholly unlike that from the resins of 
our pines. 

As it differs from any of the oxygenated hydrocarbons known, 
I have called it ambrosine— -from the two words amber and 
resin ; to both of which substances it bears a resemblance. It 
is very combustible, burning with a bright yellowish white light, 
a pleasant odor, and without leaving any carbon, or even the 
slightest ash behind. It is largely soluble in oil of turpentine, 
alcohol, ether, and chloroform, as well as in a solution of potash ; 
and is feebly taken up by the strong acids without suffering de- 
composition. It probably originated in some of the coniferous 
trees that existed during the pliocene epoch, when our phosphatic 
formation was in progress of deposition." — Drug. Cir, ^ Chem. 
Gaz., May, 1870. 

Slinntes 0f t^e f Ijilal^eljlia College of f|armacg, 

A stated meeting of the College was held at the College Hall, June 
27th, 1870, the President, Dillwyn Parrish, in the Chair. 

The minutes of the preceding meeting- were read and adopted. 

The minutes of the Board of Trustees were read hy Alfred B. Taylor, 
Secretary of the Board, and approveii. 

The Committee on Latin Labels, not being ready to report, was con- 

The Publishing Committee, in the matter relative to the distribution 
of the Journal, referred to them at the last meeting, reported that it had 
been attended to. 

The Treasurer of the Building Committee reported that he had paid 
over the balance in his hands to the Chairman of the Sinking Fund Com- 
mittee, as directed at the last meeting. 

The report of the Delegates to the National Convention for Revising 
the Pharmacopoeia, held at Washington, on the 4th of May last, was 
given by Alfred B. Taylor. The Convention was duly held ; about forty 
delegates were commissioned, of whom about thirty attended. Prof. 
Carson, of Philadelphia, was chosen President, and Dr. Miller, of Wash- 
ington, and William Procter, Jr., Vice-Presidents, and Dr. Riley, Secre- 
tary. Contributions toward the revision of the Pharmacopoeia were 
handed in from the Chicago College of Pharmacy, the Baltimore College 
of Pharmacy, the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia 
College of Pharmacy and the Medical Society of the State of New York 
These were referred to a Committee to report a plan for the Revision of 
the PharmacopaMa of 1870, which Committee, on the following day, re- 
ported a series of resolutions ; most of which were adopted. Amoag 



these was one abolishing measures of capacity from the Pharmacopceia, 
and another giving the Committee power to issue a new edition, if neces- 
sary, before 1880. A Committee of fifteen was then appointed to accom- 
plish the Revision, of which Prof. Carson was made Chairman, and the 
Committee directed to meet in Philadelphia. Six members of the Com- 
mittee residing there, and the working quorum of the Committee fixed at 
three. [A full report of the proceedings will be found at page 289.] 

Letters were received from Prof. Joseph Carson, of the University of 
Pennsylvania, and Prof. John Attfield, of the Pharmaceutical Society 
at London, acknowledging their election to honorary membership in the 

Proposition for membership No. 1 was referred to a Committee con- 
sisting of Messrs. Procter, Wiegand and Taylor. 

The appointment of delegates to attend the American Pharmaceutical 
Association being in order, the following were appointed to represent 
this College : William Procter, Jr., Alfred B. Taylor, Joseph P. Eem- 
ington, Charles Bullock and Prof. Robert Bridges, with power to fill 

The following delegates to attend the Conference of the Colleges of 
Pharmacy, to be held in Baltimore, in reference to Pharmaceutical Edu- 
cation, were appointed, viz. : Prof. Robert Bridges, Chairman, Prof- 
John M. JVlaisch, Prof. Edward Parrish, William Procter, Jr., and Alfred 
B. Taylor. 

The meeting then adjourned. 

C. Bullock, Sec'y. 

€Mtorial IDcpartmcuL 

Meeting or the American Pharmaceutical Association. — For the 
first time we have failed to receive an official notice from the President 
for announcement in our July number. The time for the convening of 
this body (September 13th) is rapidly approaching, and the central 
position of Baltimore will probably attract a large gathering of the mem- 
bers. The opportunity of again meeting with us will be afforded to the 
old Southern members, and we hope many new ones. The subjects of 
local pharmaceutical organization, and of legislation for pharmacy, are 
now prominent points, and will probably receive due attention at tha 
meeting. There is no doubt of the usefulness of local organization ; with 
or without the accompaniment of a school, it affords a central rallying point 
for scientific and professional interests, and when accompanied by library 
and museum accommodations becomes at once something to work for and 
10 be iot^rested in, outside of strictly personal interests. The appointment 



of a successor to Prof. J. M. Maiscli. who has resigned the permanent sec- 
retaryship, will be one of the most important acts of the meeting, and one 
that will have to be attended to promptly and wisely, as much of the 
usefulness of the Association depends on the devotedness of that official 
to its interests in the interim. The financial condition of the Association 
is another highly important subject. Without money it is certain that 
the present scope of the Association cannot be continued. The demand 
from each member is not much, but in the aggregate it is sufficient to 
carry on the operations of the body. Let that little then be promptly 
and gracefully paid in aid of the objects in which we all should cooperate. 
Those that go to the meetings pay a much heavier contribution than 
those who stay ; all are welcome, yet when for any reason a member can- 
not go, let him cheerfully remember that his annual contribution is an 
active agent in pushing onward the wheels of progress. 

Coincident with this meeting will be a Congress of Delegates from 
Colleges of Pharmacy relative to pharmaceutical education in the United 
States, and more especially in reference to the attainment of a uniform 
standard of qualification for graduates. 

Careless Reporting of the Pharmacopceial Convention by the 
Medical Journals. — If anything was needed to prove the small hold 
which the Pharmacopoeia of the United States has on the medical pro- 
fession, one evidence may be seen in the manner of alluding to it by the 
medical Journals. The Medical Gazette, N.York, calls it the "Ameri- 
can Pharmaceutical Association, and says, the "sixth decennial conven- 
tion was held," &c. Other journals have been equally careless, and 
appear to overlook the fact that, until the Pharmacopoeia becomes tho- 
roughly authoritative as a code of medical recipes and pharmaceutical 
preparations, equally respected in practice by physicians and pharma- 
ceutists, it is useless to expect a cessation of complaints and disappoint- 
ments in the intercourse between physicians and apothecaries. 

The Schools of Pharmacy. — From what we have learned through 
regular announcements and otherwise their will be six schools of phar- 
macy in operation the coming season, under the direction of Colleges of 
Pharmacy, besides several that are attached to other institutions. Com- 
petition is having a good effect, and a generous rivalry in the direction of 
a better system of instruction will raise the standard value of the diploma. 
There is a serious want of instruction in analytical and practical pharma- 
ceutical chemistry in the college schools, arising from a difficulty on the 
part of those engaged in pharmaceutical pursuits to get the time and 
means ; and unless made obligatory, as a condition of graduation and 
consequently of apprenticeship, there seems no way of securing these 
branches a place in the curriculum. We have been informed that Mr* 
Henry C. Lea is about to publish an American Edition of Attfield's 



Chemistry, under the supervision of the author, who will adapt it to our 
Pharmacopoeia. This wiil be a good text-book for our Colleges, who 
may institute practical schools, and will also be a most valuable aid to 
home students in the shop, to direct their efforts at gaining a knowledge 
of practical chemistry by their own efforts. It is not to be expected that 
a large proportion of students of pharmacy can get the tuition they need 
in college schools, and it is time that some efforts should be directed by 
disinterested members of our profession towards encouraging this home 
effort among the present generation of apprentices and assistants. 

The Scientific Soiree of the Biological and Microscopical Section 
OF the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, was held at the 
hall of the College of Physicians, Thirteenth and Locust, on Friday even- 
ing, May 13th. The occasion will long be remembered as one of the most 
brilliant and successful gatherings ever convened to popularize science. 
The exhibition consisted of anatomical and physiological specimens and 
models in the upper east room, of a most extensive collection of micro- 
scopes, each with an object ready for examination arranged around a 
series of tables to facilitate their inspection by the crowd of visitors in 
the library apartment. This was under the direction of Dr. Tyson and 
Mr. Walmsley and several other gentlemen, and was a rare treat from 
the variety and rarity of the specimens and the excellence of many of the 
instruments. In the lower east room Prof. Robert E. Rodgers exhibited 
a variety of electric and electro-magnetic experiments, and in the west 
room Dr. J. S. Cohen had charge of instruments illustrating sound and 
the vibrations on which it depends. In the lecture room Dr. J. Gibbons 
Hunt exhibited a great variety of microphotographs of animal and vege- 
table structure, and many other views, by means of the gas microscope 
and stereopticon. The rooms were open from half-past 7 until 11 o'clock, 
and most of the time were crowded with a company representing the 
most intelligent class of society, a large proportion of whom were ladies. 
The microscopes, numbering more than eighty, certainly were most attrac- 
tive and many of them were instruments of great power, including several 
that were binocular. The upper and lower halls were decorated with 
exotic plants and flowers, and the whole brilliantly lighted. The Direc- 
tors, Dr. S. Wier Mitchell and Dr. Wm. Pepper, and their aids, were un- 
ceasing in their efforts to add to the interest and satisfaction of the visi- 
tors, and all passed off satisfactorily. 

Metric Weights and Measures. — We learn through the Chemist and 
Druggist^ that at a meeting of the " International Decimal Association, 
held at the rooms of the Society of Arts, Sir Charles A dderly, m.p., moved 
the following resolution : " That the great inconvenience to agriculture, 
manufacturers and commerce, as well as to science, resulting from 
the numerous complicated and anomalous weights and measures now 



in use, whether by law or custom, in the British empire, demands 
the attention of the Legislature at the earliest practical time, with a view 
to the establishment of some convenient uniform decimal system through- 
out the United Kingdom." Which resolution was carried, but two 
speakers being in the negative. One of these, however, was Prof. Airey, 
the Astronomer Royal, who spoke in favor of the English weights and 
measures as more useful in practice from their ready subdivision by 
halving and quartering. They also recommended the substitution of 
metricvil for troy weights, it having been recommended to abolish the 
latter by the Standard Commissioners, and thus make an entering wedge 
to their general introduction. They also advocate the system of inter- 
national coinage, based on gold of nine-tenths purity, with a decimal 

Prof. Liebtg. — From a notice in Cosmos, June 4th, this savant has 
been seriously ill from a dangerous abcess in the neck, requiring a surgical 
operation. The paper considered his recovery doubtful ; but as nothing 
has yet been announced, we presume this eminent and useful laborer in 
science has recovered. 

Pepsine. — The following query, received sometime ago, was accidently 
overlooked : 

Philadelphia, M mo. \Wi, 1870. 
Dear Sir : — Through the pages of the Journal of Pharmacy at its next 
issue will you oblige a subscriber by replying to this query : In the 
preparation of "pepsine," by the method of Boudanlt, is the product in 
any way injured if the solution, after treatment with sulphuretted hydro- 
gen, is filtered through carbo animalis, a step which seems necessary to 
free it from the sulphuret of lead prior to evaporation? 

A Subscriber. 

The treatment of pepsine in solution with a moderate quantity of animal 
charcoal will cause no material loss, and will remove its odor. As the 
object is deodorization and not decoloration, the smallest quantity suit- 
able to remove the odor will be best. 

Pharmacy in New Jersey. — Our New Jersey friends are in earnest in 
pushing the organization of their body. In our May number a notice 
was given of the initial meeting at Newark, Feb. 24th. The Secretary, 
Mr. Charles B. Smith, in a letter dated May 27th, sends several copies 
of the proposed law, as adopted at the meeting held in Trenton on the 
24th of March, to which he alludes in the following extract: 

" At the meeting held in Trenton, March 24th, 1870, one member from 
each County in the State was added to the Legislative Committee. 

" The Chairman of that Committee was directed to have printed five 
hundred copies of the law as amended, and to place one copy in the 
hand of every druggist in the State, with the request to return them with 
their written approval or objection any time before July 1st. Upon those 



returned copies tlie Committee will report at a special meeting to be held 
at Long Branch, Wednesday, August 17th, 1870." 

The proposed New Jersey Law is mainly that of the American Phar- 
maceutical Association reported in September last, with certain modifi- 
cations, rendered necessary by the circumstances of New Jersey. It 
embraces registration, the sale of poisons and the adnlieration of drngs. 
When the meeting of August has determined the deliberate sentiment of 
the members in regard to the law, some changes may occur, and then it 
will probably be offered for Legislative action. 

WestYirginia Pharmaceutical Association. — The following circular 
has been distributed and the druggists of West Virginia invited to take 
part in the movement, at a meeting named for April 26th ult., at Wheel- 
ing, Ya. It was signed by H. Treverton Bond, Sec. pro tern. We have 
not heard the result : 

We, the undersigned Practical Druggists, desirous of promoting the 
cause of Pharmacy in our midst, do hereby agree to form an Association 
to be known as the " West Virginia Pharmaceutical Asf^ociation," hav- 
ing for its object the cultivation, improvement and dissemination of a 
knowledge of Pharmacy and its collateral branches of sciences, and of 
giving instruction in the same, by such method as may hereafter be de- 
termined upon. 

Edmund Booking, T. H. Logan, C. R. Hubbard, 

R. B. McLain, Samuel Laughlin, James Reed, 

IT. Treverton Bond, Jas. Murray, F. L. Braun, 

Thos. J. Finney, John List J. IL Silvey, 

G. W. C. ('arroU, S. L. Brice, Samuel Owen, 

Jno. G. McLain. 

Pharmacy in Indiana. — The Daily Gazette, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, 
of June 21, 1870, gives the proceedings of a meeting to organize a Phar- 
maceutical Association held at the City Clerk's office on the preceding 
evening. Mr. Wagner was chosen temporary chairman. After some 
discussion Mr. Sweringen was elected permanent President, Mr. Biddle 
Yice-president, Mr. G J. Mayer Secretary, and Mr. Nill Treasurer. 

A committee, consisting of Messrs. Marshall, Wagner, Nill, Meyer and 
Zimmermann, was appointed to draft a constitution and by-laws, and 
report to the next meeting. On motion of Mr. Marshall and after a 
lively discussion, it was resolved to call the organization " The Indiana 
Pharmaceutical Association ;" when the meeting adjourned to meet on 
the 27th of June next. 

Chinese Pharmacy in New York. — According to the Med. and Surg- 
Reporter, of Philadelphia, Lum Ling Wan, a native Chinese physician, 
proposes to settle in New York and enter upon the practice of his pro- 
fession. He brnigs with him his wife, an interpreter, Lu Sing, two 
Chinese apothecaries. Ah Mok and Ah Sam, and an endless assortment 
of drugs and medicines." It is said that in China physicians are paid 



pending the continued health of their patients, the fees ceasing on the 
appearance of sickness. It may be doubted whether this plan would suit 
in New York. 

Advertising Sheet of the American Journal of Pharmacy. — The 
Publishing Committee have determined to issue the advertising sheet 
appended to this Journal every month, so as to offer a more favorable 
medium for business men. On those months intermediate between the 
usual issues of the Journal, viz., February, April, June, August, October 
and December, the Advertiser will appear separately, accompanied by a 
< small news leaf, and probably with a price current. This arrangement, 
which will begin with August, but will probably not be in good working 
order until January, will enable the Editor to announce recent pharma- 
ceutical news every month, and, as it is our wish to keep the sheet for 
legitimate advertisements in the drug and chemical and pharmaceutical 
trade, the book trade, scientific and medical institution school notices, 
with a corner for clerks and employers, and another for advertising the 
sale of stores, etc. ; it is believed that an excellent medium will thus be 
afforded for clerks, assistants, apprentices and employers to communicate 
with eiich other. The terms under the new arrangement will be stated in 
the August sheet. 

Hydrate of Chloral. — Albert Dung & Co., agents for Dr. Liebreich's 
hydrate of chloral, as manufactured at Berlin, has sent us a sample for 
examination. It has been subjected to tests with success and has been 
used therapeutically by several physicians with satisfaction. It is in 
crystalline cubical masses like spermaceti, is soluble in its own weight 
of water, is unaffected by nitrate of silver, permanganate of potassa is 
unchanged by it as suggested by Dr. Rieckher. 

This notice should have appeared in May, but was crowded out. 

Massachusetts College of Pharmacy. — The Second Annual Com- 
mencement of this Institution was held in Boston on June 22d. when 
Charles Harrison Bassett, Joseph Howes Dyer, Edward Samuel Kelley, 
Horace Auijjustus Prescott, George Estus Raymore and James Stewart 
Talbot received its Diploma. Valedictory by Prof. Cyrus M. Tracy. 
On the 24th of June an Alumni Association was formed and the follow- 
ing officers chosen :— GT. F. H. Markoe. President ; H. W. Lincoln and 
J. T. Brown, Jr., Vice Prendents ; T. Doliber, Secretary ; C.H Bassett, 

Dr. Simpson's Reply to Dr. Bigelow.— The Journal of the Gynaeco- 
logical Society of Boston publishes this letter in a supplement to the 
May number. It is probably the last paper of the distinguished author, 
and as giving the views and belief of one largely concerned in the history 
of aniESthesia is worthy a careful perusal. As we have not read the letter 



of Dr. Bigelow, any remarks in that direction would be out of place, but 
we may be warranted in saying that Dr. Simpson's views of the claims of 
Dr. Horace Wells, as initiating the series of experiments and arguments 
that resulted in the discovery of anaesthesia, as a great ameliorator in 
surgical operations, agrees with our own ; for though dentistry is a dis- 
tinct profession, yet the extraction of teeth is as much a surgical opera- 
tion as any other act that excises or removes an organ or part of the 
human body, involving pain. The failure of Wells at first to manipulate 
satisfactorily with nitrous oxide, lead Morton to look around for a better 
agent, and in doing so to seek the chemical aid of Dr. Jackson. The 
new agent, ether, was successful, and surgical anaesthesia was proclaimed 
to the world as a great fact and was duly acknowledged. Practical 
anaesthesia having thus become, through American minds, the property 
of mankind, it was just and proper that all the world should strive to 
extend its benefits, and certainly one of the greatest and most earnest of 
these strivers was Dr. Simpson ; first, in his application of ethereal anges- 
thesia to midwifery, and then, in the pursuit of this idea, his recognition 
and application of the anaesthetic properties of chloroform. That anaes- 
thesia should be effected more through chloroform than ether, in Europe, 
is not surprising, or that ether, or a mixture, should be most used here. 
Certainly the record, as regards accidents, is against chloroform and in 
favor of the safety of ether. 

Cyclopcedia OF Quantitative Chemical Analysis, by Frank H. Storer. 
— The first sheet, as a sample of this work, has been received. No pro- 
gramme or explanation came with it. The presumption is that the Au- 
thor proposes its publication. If carried out in the manner of the sheet 
sent it will be a valuable compendium of analytical information, arranged 

Dr. Attfield's Saturation Tables. — The Editor acknowledges the 
reception of a copy of these tables from Mr. H. Silverlock, 92 Black- 
friars road, London. This chart is copied from Attfield's Pharmaceutical 
Chemistry, and is a useful aid to the dispenser when placed in a position 
for ready reference. 


Charles B. Notson, pharmaceutist, formerly of Philadelphia, died at 
St. Josephs, Missouri, on the morning of the 17th of April last, in the 
31st year of his age, of a severe affection of the throat. Mr. Notson wa3 
the son of Dr. Wm. Notson of this city. He studied pharmacy here and 
graduated at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy in March, 1865. 
He settled in St. Josephs in 18G8, in the drug business, in partnership 
with Mr. Brokaw, with decided success. On the formation of the Phar- 
maceutical Association of St. Josephs, in February last, Charles B. Notson 



was elected its Yice-President, aod was in good esteem among his breth- 
ren as an able pharmaceutist and an honorable and worthy member of 
the community. Mr. Notson leaves a widow and daughter, having mar- 
ried about two years since. 

At a meeting of the Pharmaceutical Association of St. Josephs, that 
body passed resolutions appreciative of the deceased and sympathizing 
with his family. 

Samuel Lenher, Pharmaceutist of Philadelphia, died of disease of the 
heart, on the evening of the 20th inst., in the forty-sixth year of his age. 

Mr. Lenher's first connection with our business was in a store where 
the opportunities for education were so meagre, and the character of the 
employment so distasteful that he had determined to make a change, 
which he soon after carried into effect, as he found a situation in the 
establishment of the late Frederick Brown, where he continued his studies 
and graduated after a term of four years apprenticeship. 

His connection with Mr. Brown was an unusually long one, lasting be- 
tween sixteen and seventeen years, an evidence of the high estimate that 
his acute preceptor set upon his services ; he was for twelve years the 
chief assistant in the establishment, and to his scientific knowledge and 
attention to business much of the superiority of his employers pharmacy 
must be attributed. A remarkable aptitude for mechanics enabled him 
to design and execute apparatus that proved very valuable in business; 
it is to be regretted that his modesty and retiring disposition prerented 
him from becoming better acquainted with his pharmaceutical brethren, 
and them from learning much that he would have been pleased to com- 

To those who were well acquainted with him, he was gentle and plea- 
sant in manners, while free and decided in the expression of his opinions ; 
but it was in the relations of son and brother his character was most 
beautifully manifested by the affection he ever evinced for his family. 

For the last few months his health, which had been seriously impaired 
by too close attention to a business we all know permits far too little time 
for relaxation, gave way and he gradually sunk after great suffering. 

T. S. W. 

Sir J AMES Young Simpson. " The death of the distinguished discoverer 
of the anaes'thetical properties of chloroform, Sir James Y. Simpson, at 
Edinburgh, on the 8th of May, of angina pectoris complicated with heart 
disease, in his 59th year, is announced by cable. Dr. Simpson was born 
in the year 1811, in Bathgate, Linlithgowshire, Scotland. He received 
his education in the University of Edinburgh, from which he graduated 
in 1832 with the degree of M.U. Immediately after graduating he was 
appointed an assistant to Professor Thomson of the University, and he 
proved his eminent fitness for the position by an able series of lectures 
which he delivered during the illness of his principal, in 1836. In 1840 
Dr. Simpson was elected to the Professorship of Midwifery in the lidin- 



burgh University, and this position he held during the remainder of his 
life. It was on the 19th of January, 1847, that he first applied anaesthe- 
sia to midwifery practice, and his subsequent investigations in the same 
direction led to the discovery of the antesthetical properties of chloro- 
form. The importance of these investigations can scarcely be over- 
estimated, and they have completely revolutionized some- of the features 
of medical and surgical practice. Dr. Simpson was elected President of 
the Edinburgh Royal College of Physicians in 1849, and in 1852 Presi- 
dent of the Medico-Chirurgical Society. In 1853 the French Academy 
of Medicine complimented him by electing him a Foreign Associate, and 
a still higher compliment was paid him in 1856 by the award of the 
"Monthyon Prize," of 2000 francs, by the French Academy of Sciences, 
in consideration of the benefits conferred upon humanity by the intro- 
duction of anaesthesia by chloroform into the practice of surgery and 
midwifery. About the same time he received the Knighthood of the 
Royal Order of St. Olaf from King Oscar of Sweden, 

Dr. Simpson was the author of numerous medical treatises that are 
well known in all quarters of the world, and many of them have been 
translated into nearly all the European languages. In January, 1866, he 
was created a baronet, in recognition of his services as the discoverer of 
the anaesthetic properties of chloroform, and in the same year he received 
the honorary degree of D. C. L. from the University of Oxford. In Sep- 
tember, 1867, he was President of the Department of Health in the So- 
cial Science Congress held at Belfast. The lectures of Dr. Simpson did 
much towards giving the Edinburgh School of Medicine its high reputa- 
tion, and his fame as a physician secured him the largest practice, per. 
haps, ever enjoyed by any member of the profession in Scotland. The 
claims of Dr. Simpson to the honor of being the first discoverer of the 
anaisthetical properties of chloroform have been disputed, but it is gen- 
erally considered that he is entitled to it." — Med. and Surg. Reporter. 

Heinrioh Gustav Magnus, of the University of Berlin, Prussia, died 
on the 4th of April, aged 68 years. He occupied the Chair of Natural 
Philosophy and Technology, and was one of the most prominent among 
the German Naturalists. — [Fr. Hoff.) 

William Neergaard, Jr., son of William Neergaard, Pharmaceutist 
of New York, died in that city on the 27th of April, of heart disease 
arising from rheumatism, at the age of 21 years. In 1866, after having 
received a good education, he was placed by his father as an apprentice, 
in the pharmacy of Prof. Maisch, of Philadelphia, during two years, and 
attended two courses at our College. An attack of disease caused his 
return to New York, where he subsequently graduated in Pharmacy in 
1869. The deceased was intelligent, studious, quick in perception, clear 
in judgment, possessed of exemplary habits and promised to become an 
ornament to his profession. 





By William T. Wenzell, of San Francisco, Cal. 

Toxicologists seem greatly at variance as to the precise limit 
of sensibility of the color tests usually applied for the detection 
of strychnia. Among writers and authorities may be cited those 
who have designated limits beyond which the identification of 
the alkaloid is regarded as doubtful ; Wm. Copney places the 
test limit at l-500,000th, G. .T. Wormley l-100,000th, Dr. De 
Vry l-60,000th, Jordan l-50,000th, all of whom recom- 
mend and use the test of bichromate of potassa and sulphuric 
acid. Wm. A. Guy uses a test liquid of a solution of 10 grs. 
of permanganate of potassa in one ounce of water, and is 
used in conjunction with sulphuric acid. He gives a stated limit 
of 1-12,000. Rodgers and Girtwood use a test which consists 
of 500 grains of sulphuric acid holding 1 grain of chromic acidll 
in solution, which the}^ esteem particularly useful for the dete®- 
tion of minute quantities of strychnia ; but its limit of sensibility 
has not been stated. 

The best form of using and manner of applying the color tests 
has also been a matter of opinion, but it is now generally be- 
lieved that the application of the color test in the solid form is 
that which is to be preferred. The deserved superiority of using; 
it in this form, although it is the best for the detection of cjuan- 
tities not exceeding the l-100,000th of a grain of strychnia, im 
greater attenuations it seems incapable of inducing that charac- 
teristic development of colors which forms the means of positive 



recognition of the alkaloid. The cause seems obvious. The 
proportions of the salt and acid used are always too great to- 
wards the quantity of strychnia tested if it exists in very minute 
proportions or traces. It is required to add to the acid pre- 
viously^dropped upon the suspected spot a fragment of a crystal 
of bichromate of potash, but if the alkaloid is minute, however 
small the crystal may appear, the oxidation will take place so 
rapidly as to either fail altogether in making an impression upon 
the optic nerve, or merely produce a momentary flash of blue 
without any subsequent play of colors, the absence of which 
cannot be received as sufficient evidence to prove the positive 
presence of strychnia. In testing for minute portions of the alka- 
loid it is a desideratum to use a reagent, the proportionate relations 
andf superior sensitiveness of which will admit of the successful 
demonstration of traces of the poison. In experimenting to- 
wards [that end I have found that a solution of one grain of 
permanganate of potassa in 2000 grs. of sulphuric acid is, par 
excellence^ the test for that purpose. In delicacy of reaction, 
brilliancy of colors and duration, I have found it to be, in 
parallel experiments made with the bichromate of potassa and 
sulphuric acid test, greatly its superior. 

While I do not claim priority of discovery of a valuable re- 
agent in the use of the permanganate, — an honor which duly 
belongs to Wm. A. Guy, of London, and to whose valuable in- 
vestigations on alkaloids and their tests I take pleasure in re- 
ferring,* — I w^ould simply state that I was not cognizant of its 
use as a test for alkaloids prior to the time when I first tried it ; 
but becoming acquainted with that fact, I henceforth relinquished 
all claim. Believing it to be a valuable reagent, I determined 
to [test its value. Considering a solution of the permanganate 
in sulphuric acid proper, and preferable to a solution in water, 
inasmuch as the water can act only as a diluent, and therefore 
must prove to some degree detrimental to the sensibility of the 
test. Further, a solution of the permanganate in w^ater (10 grs. 
to 3I) possesses a deep purple color, which might possibly be- 

* On Color Tests of Strychnia and the Diagnosis of the Alkaloids. By 
William A. Guy, M.D. Cantab., vol. 2 and 3, pp. 558, 602. 11 and 12 
Pharm. Journ. and Trans. 


come a source of error, while on the other hand a solution of that 
salt in sulphuric acid (1 gr. to 2000 grs.) exhibits a light green 
color, which is less liable to be confounded with the colors de- 
veloped during the application of the test. 

The test solution of strychnia was made with the crystallized 
alkaloid dissolved by the intervention of sulphuric acid in water ; 
each drop of the solution representing the soir^^ of a grain of 
the alkaloid. A pipette was used capable of dropping one- 
sixth of a drop. The drop here alluded to was carefully ascer- 
tained to be equal to 1-2 minim. So that the pipette drop was 
equal to 0*2 minim. The dilutions were prepared from this nor- 
mal solution. The following table will exhibit the different strych- 
niated solutions prepared for experiment, with amounts of strych- 
nia contained in each ^th drop, and the comparative results ob- 
tained by the application of the different test agents employed : 

Amt. of strychnia contained in ]4, 
drop ot eaeli solution. 

KO,2Cr03 & S04H 
test (solid). 

Cr03 and S04H 
test (1 500). 

KO,Mt.207 and 

SOU! test (1 


1 drop 1 X 50,0Cf0 = 1-100,000. 

Color reaction 
distinct and well 

Color reaction 
very fine and dis- 

Reaction very 
brilliant and du- 

•1 drop ^ X 50,000 = 1-300,000. 

Reaction weak 
and evanescent. 

Colors fine and 

Colors brilliant 
and reaction dis- 

\ drop 50,000 = 1-600,000. 

No reaction. 

Colors still de- 
finable, but weak. 

Reaction dis- 
tinct and colors 

•i drop 50,000 — 1-900,000. 

No reaction. 

Reaction laint, 
but succession of 
colors well de- 

-i drop ^y* 50,000 = 1-1,200,000. 

Reaction very 

It will be seen on inspecting the above table that the limit of 
positive recognition by the bichromate of potassa and sulphuric 
acid test may be placed at tuoooo^ ^^^^^ of the chromic acid, &c., 
test, at -g-oo^ooo^ ^"^^ that of the permanganate at yooooo- The 
manner in which the experiments were conducted may be stated 
as follows : 

The one-sixth of a drop of the normal solution was dropped 
from the pipette upon a warmed, highly glazed porcelain sur- 
face, and allowed to evaporate spontaneously. The thin circular 
film which the drop left was readily perceived by the aid of a 
good light. It was found that the alkaloid contained in the 



drop tends on evaporation to crystallize principally near the 
edges of the drop, thus forming the margin, which constitutes 
the circular outline of the film. It is therefore the margin of 
the evaporated drop that will furnish the most decided evidence 
of the presence of the alkaloid. By means of a blunt-pointed 
glass rod, the point of whicli having been slightly moistened 
with sulphuric acid, a small drop was placed upon the margin of 
the film, and in using the bichromate test, a most minute crystal 
of that salt was placed upon or pushed into the drop of acid, 
and ])y means of a glass rod the crystal, together with the acid, 
was drawn around the margin of the film. This mode of pro- 
cedure with this test, although very delicate, will fail to detect 
the strychnia positively in this fractional drop. By superimpo- 
sing and evaporating successively three drops, the reaction is 
then rendered quite positive. 

In testing with the liquid reagents the sulphuric acid must be 
added in extremely minute quantities.- A mere dot placed upon 
the marojin of the film must be regarded as sufficient, and its 
effect upon the deposit carefully observed. Then by means of a 
small pipette, the point of which is drawn to a capillary bore and 
charged with the reagent, a minute drop of it is allowed to flow 
upon the dot of acid, when by means of a pointed glass rod drawn 
around the margin of the spot, the colors created by the reagent 
are obtained vvith various degrees of vividness and duration, 
according to the amount of alkaloid contained in the deposit, and 
the permanganate test will positively indicate the l-900,000th 
of the alkaloid. I have successfully concentrated a ^ drop by 
placing the porcelain plate obliquely while the droplet is evapo- 
rating ; the drop will gradually contract on the glazed surface 
to about one-third of the space it would have otherwise occu- 
pied, and thus serve to insure more positive results. Scrupulous 
accuracy and cleanliness should be observed in conducting these 
microchemical manipulations. The reagent ought to be freshly 
prepared from pure materials, of proper strength, and used 
quantitatively with the greatest care. 

Philadelpliia, August 28, 1870. 



To the Editor of the American Journal of Pharmacy: 

Sir, — Not long since, I had occasion to determine in a sample 
of undried Charleston, S. C, guano the amount of phosphoric 
acid, and being out of chemically pure acetic acid, I requested 
mj assistant to procure for me a small quantity at No. , this 
city. Although the figures of the first and second determina- 
tions corresponded, they were unsatisfactory ; those of the third, 
fourth, and fifth determinations, differing .largely among them- 
selves, were equally unsatisfactory. Here follow the percent- 
ages : Nos. 1 and 2, 28*69 per cent.; No. 3, 26*75 per cent. ; 
' No. 4, 33*42 per cent. ; No. 5, 30*22 per cent. 

As the method used by me gives, when properly executed, 
very concordant results, it was thought advisable to test the 
chemically pure {!) acetic acid. Ammonia in excess was added, 
when a copious, white, gelatinous precipitate formed, which, on 
investigation, proved to be phosphate of lime, (The ammonia 
filtrate I omitted to examine. I doubt not that it contained lime 
originally combined with carbonic acid.) It is easy now to 
account for the high percentages of phosphoric acid, and to 
exphiin the discrepancies the following is offered : 

The hydrochloric or nitric acid solution of the guano (prepared 
in a proper manner), to which a known quantity of citric acid 
has been added, is supersaturated with ammonia, the precipitated 
bone-phosphate of lime dissolved in an excess of acetic acid, and 
the lime eliminated by means of oxalate of ammonia. Now, 
according as the excess of ammonia is large or small, the result 
will be influenced, not only by the amount of acid required to 
saturate an excess, large or small, but by the excess of acid as 
well ; and, had not the quantity (1 gramme) of substance used 
for analysis been the same in each case, it would be natural to 
seek a cause here ; for it is evident the smaller the amount of 
substance taken, the higher the percentage of phosphoric acid, 
and vice versa. 

When pure acetic acid was used, the sample of Charleston, 
S. C, guano yielded of phosphoric acid 22*36 per cent. 

The writer regrets that he is unable to give the percentage of 



phosphoric acid and lime contained in the acid, he having ex- 
hausted his stock in the foregoing experiments, and, on procuring 
some more, at the same place^ it was/ree from impurity. 

In conclusion, it remains to ask, Whence came the phosphate 
of lime ? Supposing that it was intended to convert, with little 
trouble, an inferior acid into a superior one, would it be assuming 
too much to say that hone-hlach was the medium ? 

Wm. H. Bruckner, Ph. D. 
Chemical Laboratory, No. 1^^ Walnut street, 
Philadelphia, Aug. 11, 1870. 

By John M. Maisch. 

Pharmaceutical literature has, on frequent occasions, no- 
ticed various adulterations of saffron. The old clumsy method 
of mixing saffron with the florets of Carthamus tinctorius, or 
with the dyed florets of Calendula officinalis, or with the cut 
petals of various flowers, seems to be discarded now, and new 
methods, among them some very ingenious ones, are now prac- 
ticed. It is not very diflicult to find excellent saffron in the 
American market, though inferior kinds, partly exhausted and 
well oiled, are by no means uncommon. 

I have lately received some saffron very handsome in appear- 
ance, of good and strong odor, and yielding a deeply colored 
tincture. Some yellow filaments were intermixed, which proved 
to be partly the styles, but mainly the stamens with the anthers 
attached. This last named intermixture naturally led to the 
conclusion, that the orange red powder which was found dis- 
tributed through the saffron, consisted of pollen. A number of 
small lumps were observed, somewhat glutinous to the touch, 
and consisting of a few styles, some other filamentous substance 
and the pollendike powder. To determine the nature of the un- 
recognized filaments, a few lumps were thrown into water, when 
they were found to be stamens and anthers. In this experi- 
ment, the water had become so slightly tinged, and the supposed 
pollen settled so readily and in such a peculiar manner, that 



suspicion was aroused as to its identity. Under the microscope 
it did not show the structure of pollen ; treated with dilute 
muriatic acid it dissolved readily, with strong effervescence, and 
the solution, supersaturated with ammonia, produced with oxalate 
of ammonia a white precipitate. The powder consisted of pre- 
pared chalk, colored by saffron and treated with glucose or honey 
to improve its pollen-like appearance, the aqueous infusion of 
the powder giving abundant evidence of the presence of sugar. 
The proportion of this adulteration is estimated at about 10 per 
cent, of the entire weight. 

A similar adulteration of saffron, which occurred in Germany, 
is noticed on page 218 of this volume, the adulterant being gyp- 
sum, used to the amount of 12 per cent. The employment of 
ch,alk for this purpose I consider as quite an improvement on the 

The adulteration was doubtless made in Europe ; the saffron 
was obtained from a first class house, but had passed already 
through two hands. The saffron being otherwise good, the fraud 
is very likely to deceive, and a close scrutiny is advisable when- 
ever pollen is apparently adhering to saffron. 

P. S. — After the above was in type, I received through 
a friend two samples from the New York market, one of which 
was pure saffron, but collected with the entire styles, so that it 
was a mixture of about one part yellow and three parts saffron 
colored filaments ; the other sample consisted of some true saf- 
fron, but was mainly composed of the florets of Carthamus 
partly broken up, and the florets of Calendula dyed red, and 
rolled up, to resemble saffron somewhat. It seems, therefore, 
that what I have abov© called a elumsy method of adulterating 
saffron, is still practised, — the product being likely to satisfy 
the careless, and those who invariably buy cheap drugs. 

Editor Am. Journ. of Pharmacy : 

Dear Sir: — Allow me to recommend to your readers the fol- 
lowing formula for Mistura Cretse, which yields a preparation 
that does not ferment in the warmest weather and always gives 


B Cretae Prsep. 

Pulv. Gum. Acac. 

Glycerin 96 (pure) aa 
Aquae Cinnamomi, gxv 
Mix in the usual manner. 

In the revision of our national standard I hope to see glycerin 
substituted for syrup and sugar in very many officinal prepara- 
tions, believing it will in almost every instance be an improve- 
ment. Glycerin preparations made by cold percolation direct 
from the crude drugs may advantageously take the place of 
nearly all the present officinal syrups, possessing, if desired, the 
same density, better representing their respective bases, and of 
far more stable character. Of this I am satisfied from actual 

I would respectfully suggest to Mr. Herman Koch an im- 
provement in his method of making suppositories, i. e., to sub- 
stitute tin-foil for paper in forming the moulds. I have found 
it much to be preferred. Respectfully, 

H. P. Reynolds. 

Plainfield, N. J., July 8th, 1870. 

To the Editor : 

Dear Sir : — In answer to your question appended to my note 
on Tinct. Nux Vomica in the last Journal,* I will state that I 
examined the small amount I had left for potassa and soda and 
found it to contain neither, using the blow-pipe test, which 
produced neither a purplish nor yellow color in the outer flame of 
the pipe ; the purplish color would have showed the presence of 
potassa and the yellow soda. As the above tests sometimes fail 
in detecting these two alkaloids, I used other tests, and could 
find neither soda or potassa. I next examined it for ammonia, 
and the result here proved the presence of that alkali. Tests 
used were adding carb. soda, and heating ; the odor of ammonia 
produced was quite strong. I next brought the vapor in con- 

*See page 229 of July number. 


tact with vapors from muriatic acid, and the white cloud-like 
appearance was formed. The vapor also restored litmus paper 
to its blue color, after being reddened by nitric acid. This 
proved at once that the alkalinity of the nux vomica was due to 
ammonia, and not to strychnia, as I thought. But the crystals 
formed in the bottle were strychnia with a small amount of 
brucia, as I have stated before, and no doubt were displaced by 
the ammonia. Yours respectfully, 

Geo. W. Kennedy. 

Pottsville, July 18, 1870. 

By W. Ranstead Jones. 
Editor Amer. Journ. Pharmacy: 

Bear Sir, — On several occasions I have found chalk mixture, 
prepared as directed by the U. S. D., to turn sour, if made for 
a few days. To avoid this I have pursued the following plan 
with satisfaction. I prepare a powder of 
Prepared Chalk, ^ss. 
P. Sacch. Alb., 
P. G. Acacia, aa 5ij. 
Mix well by rubbing in a mortar, and keep well stopped from 
the air in a bottle. Where the chalk mixture is required, take 
3j of the powder to f^ss each of water and cinnamon water for 
each fg of chalk mixture required. 
Mt. Airy, Fhila., Aug. 11, 1870. 

To the Editor : 

As the time is fast drawing near when our Pharmacopoeia 
will be revised, I thought it would not be out of place to make 
a suggestion in reference to the U. S. P. formula for Tinct. 
Cinch. Comp. The composition of it, as we are all aware, is red 
cinchona bark, bitter orange peel, Virg. snake root, saffron and 
red Saunders. What I want to call attention to is the red saun- 
ders. Why is it used in the preparation for no other purpose 
than to give the tincture a dark red color ? Now we have color- 



ing matter enough in the other drugs that are used to make the 
tincture a dark red color. I do not use any saunders in mak- 
ing this tincture, and always have a beautiful dark preparation, 
and prefer it to our officinal formula. I believe the committee 
on revision would do well to drop it from the tincture altogether, 
as there are no real medicinal properties in the drug ; and where 
is the use of pouring dye stuffs into the stomach and no benefit 
to be derived from them ? Yours respectfully, 

Geo. W. Kennedy. 

Pottsville, Pa., July 21, 1870. 

By Dr. Frederick Hoffmann, of New York. 

Contrihutio7is to the Knowledge of the Opium Alkaloids. 

0. Hesse, well known by his elaborate researches on the cin- 
chona alkaloids, has published in the Annal. der Chem. & Pharm. 
vol. 153, p. 47, the results of a series of researches on some of 
the alkaloids of opium, especially on meconidine, laudanine, 
codamine, thebaicine and papaverine. The following is a brief 
resume of the author's paper : 

Meconidine — C20H23NO4 — forms a yellowish-brown, diaphanic, 
amorphous mass which melts at 58° C. ; it is readily soluble in 
alcohol, ether, chloroform, benzene and acetone ; its alcoholic 
solution blues red litmus paper and neutralizes acids. Being 
insoluble in water, it has no taste ; its acidified solution, how- 
ever, tastes bitter. Strong sulphuric acid dissolves meconidine 
with olive-green, strong nitric acid with orange-red color. Me- 
conidine as well as its salts are unstable, and their solutions 
readily decompose, especially when they contain acids. 

Laudanine — C20H25NO3 — crystallizes in small anhydrous color- 
less prisms ; it melts at 165° C, and on cooling congeals in crys- 
tals; it is readily soluble in benzene, chloroform and boiling 
alcohol, but little in cold alcohol and in not less than 540 parts 
of ether; its solutions are bitter. With ferric chloride they 
form a deep green precipitate. Strong nitric acid dissolves lau- 
danine with orange-red color, strong sulphuric acid with rose 
color ; on warming, the latter solution turns dark purple. 



Codamine — C19H23NO3 — forms large colorless prisms, readily 
soluble in boiling water, in alcohol, ether, chloroform and ben- 
zene ; its solutions blue red litmus paper and neutralize acids, 
forming salts of a very bitter taste, all of which are apparently 
, amorphous. Codamine melts at 121° C, and congeals on cool- 
ing. With strong nitric acid it forms a dark green solution, 
which after a while turns brighter ; with strong sulphuric acid it 
forms a blue solution. 

Lanthopine^Q^^ib^^ i — forms a white tasteless crystallinic 
powder, soluble in chloroform, but very little in alcohol, ether 
and benzene ; with strong nitric acid it forms a dark red resin, 
which gradually dissolves in the acid ; strong sulphuric acid dis- 
solves lanthopine with purple color. Its salts crystallize, and their 
solutions are liable to deposit precipitates in a gelatinous con- 

Thehame — C19H21NO3, — crystallizes in beau- 

tiful colorless crystals, much like benzoic acid, and also in solid 
prisms. It melts at 193° C, and on cooling recrystallizes. 
Thebaine is readily soluble in alcohol, , benzene and chloroform, 
but nearly insoluble in cold water ; 140 parts ether are required 
to dissolve 1 part of thebaine ; its solutions are tasteless ; its 
alcoholic solution blues red litmus paper, and neutralizes sulphu- 
ric acid. Strong nitric and sulphuric acids decompose thebaine, 
the latter producing a deep pink solution, which, when diluted 
with water, forms, on addition of ammonia, a white amor- 
phous precipitate, which successively turns blue, green, red and 
brown ; if, however, diluted sulphuric acid had been used for the 
solution of the alkaloid, the sulphates of thebaine and thebai- 
cine are formed without change of color. 

Thehenine forms a white, flocky precipitate, little soluble in 
boiling alcohol and ammonia, insoluble in ether and benzene, 
but freely soluble in potassium hj-drate solution ; it neutralizes 
hydrochloric and sulphuric acids, and forms with the latter a 
beautiful blue solution, which discolors on dilution with water, 
but which restores the dark color on further addition of strong 
sulphuric acid. The chlorhydrate of thjcbenine is to all appear- 
ance no poison, whilst the analogous thebaine is one of the most 
powerful poisons. 



Theha'ieine is readily soluble in potassium hydrate solution, 
very little in boiling alcohol, and insoluble in^ ether, benzene, 
water and ammonia. With strong nitric acid it forms a dark 
pink solution; with strong sulphuric acid, a dark blue one. The 
author thinks thebaicine very likely to be isomerous with the- 

Papaverine CgiHg^NO^ crystallizes in colorless tender 

prisms ; it is readily soluble in warm alcohol, in chloroform, 
benzene and in acetone, very little in cold alcohol and ether ; its 
solutions do not act upon red litmus paper. Strong sulphuric 
acid dissolves papaverine colorless ; acetic acid dissolves it with- 
out being neutralized. 

Hesse prepared, examined and analyzed a number of papave- 
rine salts. 

At the conclusion of his elaborate paper 0. Hesse points out 
some of the general results of his studies on the opium alka- 
loids. In order to form a correct idea on the comparative small 
quantities of these alkaloids in opium he states, for instance, 
that a Turkey opium which contained 8*3 per cent, morphine, 
contained only 0*0058 per cent, lanthopine, 0-0052 per cent, 
laudamine, and 0*0033 per cent, codamine. 

Codamine and laudamine belong, with the more important 
opium alkaloids, to an homologous series, whose members differ 
successively by the radical X CHg. This series is at present : 


Codeine, . 



Collateral members to this series are until at present : 

Pseudomorphine, . 

A second series of homologous 



and probably 

Narceine, . 



= C„H„NO,. 
pium alkaloids are : 





Rhoeagenine, whose salts are analogous to the corresponding 
salts of papaverine, may accordingly be viewed as dioxypapave- 
rine, and cryptopine as oxylanthopine : 

Papaverine, C21H21NO4+O2 = C2iH2iNOg Rhoeagenine. 
Lanthopine, C23H25N04 -1-0 = C23H25NO5 Cryptopine. 

An intermediate alkaloid between papaverine and lanthopine 
has as yet not been found in opium, very likely because in the 
processes of vegetable life it may readily be transmuted into 
narcotine — CgaHggNO^ ; the formula of such an alkaloid ought 
to be C22H23NO4. 

Whether meconidine is closely related to the papaverine series 
or to papaverine itself is not evident, neither from its formula 
nor from its deportment ; it contains two equiv. H more than 
papaverine ; perhaps both alkaloids are forms of successive 
transmutations of the vital processes within the plant. 

It may here opportunely be remembered that meconidine is 
homologous to the alkaloid of another Papaveracea, to sanguina- 
rin — CigHj^NO^, which is said to be identical with chelery- 
thrine, the alkaloid of chelidonium majus. 

Contributions to the Knowledge of the Aconitine Alkaloids. — 
Fliickiger, in a paper on the alkaloids of the aconite tubers, 
arrived at the following conclusions : 

1. Aconitine is contained in the European aconites with blue 
flowers, especially in Aconitum Napellus^ L. ; it is also con- 
tained in similar species of the Hirnalaya^ which are known un- 
der the name of Bikh, and among which is also Aconitum Na- 
pellus. Aconitum Lycoctonum^ L. (with yellow flowers), accord- 
ing to Hiibschmann's researches, is void of aconitine. 

2. Aconitine has the following properties : It softens in boil- 
ing water, and colors concentrated hot phosphoric acid purple, 
which color is retained, when cool, for several days. The watery 
solution of aconitine tastes bitter, not acrid ; it is not precipi- 
tated by platinic chloride solution, but gives a voluminous amor- 
phous precipitate with potassium iodo-hydrargyrate. Aconitine 
dissolves readily in ether, alcohol and chloroform ; it is anhy- 
drous, melts near 120° C, not at 80° C. ; it forms a monochlor- 



hydrate. The aconitine nitrate crystallizes in well-defined crys- 
tals ; the alkaloid forms only exceedingly small and indistinct 
crystalline masses. 

3. All samples of aconitine from England which the author 
examined corresponded in their above deportment with German 
•aconitine, except one sample from Hopkin & Williams, which 
beside being bitter was very acrid ; therefore Dr. Fllickiger 
thinks that English and German aconitine at present are iden- 

4. There is an alkaloid entirely different from aconitine, and 
of uncertain derivation, perhaps from aconite tubers (Bikh) from 
Nepal and the slopes of the Himalaya. Fllickiger terms this 
alkaloid pseudaconitine ; Schroff called it English or Morson's 
aconitine; Wiggers proposed the name Napellin ; Fllickiger 
called it previously Nepalin ; Ludwig, acrakonitine. 

Pseudaconitine does not soften in boiling water, tastes acrid, 
not bitter, and does not color concentrated hot phosphoric acid ; 
it is insoluble in water, little in alcohol, ether and chloroform, 
but crystallizes from its hot saturated solution in large prisms. 
— Pliamiac. Centralhalle^ 1870, 24. 

Iodoform as a Means to Detect Alcohol. — A. Lieben, in the 
Annal. der Chem. & Pharm. 1870, Suppl. Bd. vii, 2, describes a 
method of detecting ethyl alcohol by the formation of iodoform. 
In the simple case when the presence of alcohol in a watery so- 
lution has to be determined, the sample is warmed in a test tube, a 
few drops of an iodinized potassium iodide solution are added, 
and afterwards a few drops of potassium hydrate solution. If 
the quantity of alcohol is not too small, a turbidity results by 
the formation of microscopically small yellow crystals of iodoform. 

Hager finds this reaction very accurate, and states that it de- 
tects alcohol in liquids containing but l-2000th after about one 
day's standing. The crystals are remarkable and beautiful by 
the variety of their star-shaped arrangement. Hager suggests 

the following modus operandi : The reagents used are a solution 


* The variations of commercial aconitine, as stated by Merk's and 
Hiibsclimann's researches, are given in my Report on Progress of Phar- 
macy to the Amer. Pharm. Assoc. in the Proceedings of 1869, p. 263. 



of potassium iodide in 5 — 6 times its weight distilled water and 
oversaturated with free iodine and a solution of potassium hy- 
drate of about 10 per cent, strength. To the liquid to be exam- 
ined 5 — 6 drops of the latter solution are added. After warming 
to about 50° C. so much of the potassium iodide solution is added 
drop by drop that its color, after gentle agitation, remains yel- 
lowish-brown ; then the liquid is carefully discolored by the ad- 
dition of a few drops of the potassium hydrate solution. When 
set aside the iodoform crystals deposit, and arc recognized under 
the microscope. 

The process is obvious ; it is elfected not alone by ethyl alco- 
hol, but by a number of dilferent substances, among which are 
aldehyde, acetone, gummi, sugar, lactic acid, methyl alcohol^ 
propyl alcohol, and many volatile oils. The formation of iodo- 
form is not produced by amyl alcohol, ether, ethyl chloride, chlo- 
roform, chloral hydrate, glycerin, phenol, and by acetic, benzoic, 
butyric, citric, formic, oxalic, succinic, valerianic and tartaric 

Detection of Alcohol in Chloroform and Chloral Hydrate. 

This test is, according to Hager, superior to any for the de- 
tection of alcohol in chloroform and chloral hydrate : 

Chloroform. — To determine the presence of alcohol in chloro- 
form 2 vol. chloroform are mixed with 5 to 10 vols, of water, of 
about 50° C. The liquid, after some shaking, is poured on a 
filter previously completely saturated with water. The filtrate 
is then examined as described above. After 12 — 24 hours de- 
positing the sediment is examined under the microscope. 

Chloral Hydrate. — Chloral forms with ethyl alcohol chloral 
alcoholate, corresponding to chloral hydrate in its chemical and 
physiological properties. Since the equivalent weight of ethyl 
alcohol is five times greater than that of water, it is of consid- 
erable pecuniary advantage to the manufacturer to bring the 
chloral alcoholate into the market instead of the hydrate ; besides 
the former crystallizes finer and more solid. 

The examination is made with a solution of the sample in dis- 
tilled water, in the above given mode. When discoloring the 
iodinized liquid, each drop of the potassium hydrate solution 


produces turbidity, which, however, disappears on gentle agita- 
tion. If the sample contains alcoholate, the liquid remains more 
or less turbid, or deposits iodoform crystals after a time, although 
this is partly soluble in the presence of chloral. Of some com- 
mercial samples examined by Hager, Schering's chloral hydrate 
was the only one entirely free from alcoholate. — Pharm. Centr, 
IT. 1870, No. 18. 

More recently Schering calls attention to some more distinc- 
tions between chloral hydrate and chloral coholate ; when warmed 
in a test tube in twice their bulk of water, the hydrate, as known, 
dissolves readily, but the alcoholate melts without solution, and, 
on cooling, congeals under the water. Sulphuric acid, when 
warmed with chloral hydrate, remains colorless, whilst it turns 
brown with the alcoholate. When warmed in nitric acid of 1'2 
spec, gr., chloral hydrate gives none or but a very slight reac- 
tion, whilst with the alcoholate a vehement reaction ensues under 
evolution of nitrous oxid gas. — Pharm. Centr. H.^ 1870, No. 26. 

Examination of Commercial Sulphuric and Hydrochloric Acids 

for Arsenic. 

Sulphuric Acid. — In a test tube, of medium size, about 5 
grains of stannous chloride are dissolved in 4 — 6 c. c. pure 
hydrochloric acid, of about 25 per cent, strength. To this solu- 
tion 2 — 3 c. c. of the sample of the sulphuric acid are added, 
drop by drop, and with frequent gentle agitation ; the mixture 
evolves considerable heat. If a white precipitate be formed, a 
few drops hydrochloric acid are added in order to dissolve it. 
When the sample is free from arsenic, the liquid remains clear 
for quite a time; but if arsenic is present it becomes yellow, and. 
turns gradually dark brown and turbid, and after some hours 
grayish-brown arsenic deposits in flocks. 

Hydrochloric Acid. — The mode of examination is the same, 
but instead of the pure hydrochloric acid the sample to be exam- 
ined is used, and instead of the sulphuric acid the monohydrate 
of pure sulphuric acid. — Pharm. Cent. H. 1870. 

Suggestion to Preserve Medicines liable to Deterioration. — ■ 
Aqueous tincture of rhubarb is a popular remedy with German 



physicians. It is prepared, according to the Prussian pharma- 
copoeia, by maceration of 12 parts rhubarb in slices, 3 parts car- 
bonate of potassa and 16 parts of spirituous cinnamon water. 
After 12 hours the pulp is expressed and the liquid filtered. 
This preparation is very liable to deterioration, and its preserva- 
tion has been.a constant subject of suggestions. Recently C. Bau- 
mann applied to its preservation a method which in this case was 
very successful, and which perhaps merits consideration. Bau- 
mann evaporated the tincture to a syrupy consistency, and ab- 
sorbed this by a weighed quantity of previously washed, levi- 
gated and dried quartz sand, and exsiccated the whole at a gen- 
tle heat. By weighing the dry mass, the proper proportion and 
the quantity corresponding to each ounce of the tincture may 
easily be ascertained. 800 parts tincture and 310 parts sand 
give 400 parts dry residue. From this the tincture can 
readily be extracted by stirring the required weight with the 
corresponding quantity of water, and by decantation or filtration 
if necessary. — Pharm. Cent, H. 1870, No. 19. 

By John M. Maisch. 

Cinchona barks from Java. — Of the first 9 bales of cinchona 
barks received a few months ago from Java, by the Dutch gov- 
ernment, Julius Jobst has received four samples, which had been 
assayed by Prof. Gunning, of Amsterdam, and subsequently by 
Jobst, with the following results. The marks are those of the 
Dutch " maatschappy" : 

No. I. T. P. Java Royal Cinchona. — Alkaloids : 3-5 per cent, 
soluble in ether (much quinidia), 2*0 per cent, insoluble in ether. 
G.^ — 3-2 per cent, alkaloids : much quinidia and cinchonia, trace 
of quinia, no cinchonidia an amorphous base, the examination 
of which is promised. J. 

Nos. II & III. T. P. Java Royal Cinchona.— Alkaloids : 24 
per cent, soluble (with little quinidia), 1*3 per cent, insoluble in 
ether. G. — 3*5 per cent, alkaloids, with 1-7 quinia = 2-3 sul- 

* Conchinin of Jobst's paper = quinidia, and chinidin = cinchonidia 
of Pasteur.--J. M. M. 




phate, little cinchonidia, quinidia, cinchonia and amorphous 
base. J. 

No. IV. M. Java Royal Cinchona. — Alkaloids 1-5 per cent, 
soluble (with little quinidia), 1-0 per cent, insoluble in ether. 
G. — 1'9 per cent, alkaloids with 0-5 per cent, quinia — 0*7 
sulphate, cinchonia, some cinchonidia, quinidia and amorphous 
base. J. 

T. P. Brown Java Cinchona. — Alkaloids: 1-1 per cent, solu-' 
ble, 0*9 per cent, insoluble in ether. G. — 1*2 per cent, alkaloids, 
mostly cinchonidia and amorphous base, trace of quinia ; neither 
cinchonia nor quinidia. J. 

The latter is undoubtedly Pahudiana bark. The propagation 
of the plants yielding it has been prohibited by the Dutch 
government. Nos. II k 111 approximate bad Calisaya bark, as 
at present frequently met with. The present Java cinchona 
barks are not yet adapted to the manufacture of quinia, though 
they may be used in place of the grey and brown Huanuco and 
Loxa barks, w^hich at present are rather scarce. The price of 
the Java cinchonas is 3 guilders ($1.20 gold), per kih.—Buch' 
7iers JSr. liepert. 1870, 311-345. 

Behavior of ferroso-ferric oxide to saline solutions. — Dr. J. B. 
Schober observed that this oxide has the property of absorbing 
certain salts from their dilute aqueous solutions, and fixing them 
in such a way that they cannot be removed by washing. This is 
the case with the nitrates of leiid, silver, copper and nickel, the 
sulphates of copper, iron and zinc, stannic chloride, &c., also 
organic matter. Alum, chromic alum and tartar emetic are 
decomposed, the salt of the alkali remaining in solution. Baryta 
salts are with difficulty absorbed, still more difficult the lime and 
strontia salts. Corrosive sublimate, magnesia and alkali salts 
are not absorbed. Oxide of iron appears to have similar prop- 
erties, but in a less degree. — Ihid. 345-348. 

Tinfoil containing lead to the amount of from 1 to 19 per ct. 
is often met with. Aug. Yogel found that soap, chocolate and 
dry candies wrapped into such foil for some time, are not con- 
taminated with lead, but cheese, under similar circumstances, 
always contained lead in and near the rind, in small proportion. 
—Ihid. 348-351. 


RJdnantliin. — Prof. H. Ludwig has had occasion to examine 
some rye bread, of a violet black color, also the grain from which 
the flour had been made. The latter contained 97*5 per ct. of 
the fruit of cereals, nearly all rye, the balance being seeds of 
weeds, &c., among them 1-415 parts from Rhinanthus alectoro- 
lophus, Lin. (^Alect. Jmsutus, Reichenbach), to the presence of 
which the color of the bread was due, and ^om which the chro- 
mogen was obtained. The crushed seeds were exhausted with 
boiling alcohol, the solvent evaporated, the oil removed by ether, 
and the filtered aqueous solution evaporated to a syrupy con- 
sistence, from which rhinanthin crystallizes in stellate prisms, 
which are to be purified by recrystallization from alcohol. Its 
aqueous solution is not afi'ected by chlorine, salts of iron, lead, 
copper and silver (in the cold), but is colored brown by mineral 
acids. Its alcoholic solution heated with muriatic acid yields a 
green blue coloration of such intensity that the liquid is nearly 
black in appearance. It has a bitterish sweet taste and is solu- 
ble in water and alcohol. Its composition is CggH^gO^o. Boiled 
with dilute muriatic acid, it yielded 13'9, and in another experi- 
ment 26-7 per cent, of dark brown floccules, rhinanthogenin ; 
composition, C^Ji2o^8' filtrate contained a fermentable 

sugar, of the composition CigHjgO^g. The relation of the brown 
product to the intensely blue body, obtained by alcohol and 
muriatic or sulphuric acid, was not established. — Archiv d. 
PJiarm. 1870, June, 199-215. 

The tannin of the European alder ^ Alnus glutinosa, has been 
examined by F. Dreykorn and E. Reichardt, who found that 
with sulphuric acid it splits into alnic red and sugar ; fused with 
hydrate of potassa, phloroglycin, protocatechuic and acetic acids 
are formed ; on dry distillation, pyrocatechin is obtained. — Ibid. 

Preparation of tannin. — Oscar Rothe proposes the following 
process, which he has found well adapted to Chinese galls : 8 
parts powdered galls are macerated with 12 p. ether and 3 p- 
strong alcohol for two days, the liquid decanted, the residue 
treated with the same solvents and expressed. The liquid is 
decanted from the sediment, mixed with 12 p. water, the alcohol 
and ether recovered by distillation, the aqueous solution rapidly 



filtered and quickly evaporated in a steambath, the residue dried 
and powdered.— 232, 233. 

Paricina was discovered by Winkler in 1845. Weidenbusch's 
analysis gave results nearlj agreeing with the composition of 
aricina, which induced Gerhardt to regard it as amorphous ari- 
cina. Winkler observed (1865) that, like bebii'ina, its solutions 
are precipitated by nitric acid, and that the two otherwise agree 
in their chemical behavior. Fllickiger (1869) assumes the iden- 
tity of the two (with buxina or pelosina) and suggests that pari- 
cina might be obtained from all cinchona barks, being probably 
contained in the precipitate occasioned by iodide of potassium. 
0. Hesse has during the last eight years often attempted to ob- 
tain paricina from the mother-liquors of quinia, by mixing them 
with concentrated nitric acid, but always without success. He 
also directs attention to the statement of Fllickiger that pelosina 
turns polarized light to the right, while paricina is without effect' 
upon it (De Vry), and argues that paricina must still be regarded 
as a distinct cinchona alkaloid. — Ibid. 235-237, from Ber. d. 
Deutschen Chem. Gesellsch. zu Berlin, 1870, 3Ia7/, 232. 

Yield of extracts. — E. Schwabe has obtained the following 
amount of extract from best Smyrna opium: 44*44, 37'50, 
54*15 per ct. From socotrine aloes the author obtained by the 
process of the Prussian pharmacopoeia (cold water) 31*25 and 
12-5 per ct. extract, from hepatic aloes 48 per ct., and from Cape 
aloes 16-6 per ct.— Ibid. 241, 242. 

Balsam of Peru. — E. Schwabe states that when 1 grm. pure 
balsam of Peru is triturated in a mortar with 5 drops concen- 
trated sulphuric acid, cinnamein is converted into resin, and the 
balsam assumes the consistence of a pilular mass, of a grey 
brown color. Adulterations with castor oil or copaiva balsam 
are shown by the soft consistence of this mass. — Ibid, 242, 243. 

Conia in hemlock fruit. — Prof. V. Schroff arrives at the fol- 
lowing conclusions from his experiments : 1. The unripe fruit of 
Conium maculatum of the first year's growth contains the least 
quantity of conia. 2. The largest proportion is found in the 
well developed unripe fruit of plants of the second year's 
growth, just previous to ripening. 3. The ripe fruits, occurring 
only on the second year's plants, are intermediate in the amount 



of conia between the unripe fruits from first and second years' 
plants. — Ibid. 261, from Wien. arztl. Wochenbl. 1870, 1. 

By Dr. F. A. Fluckiger. 

The author refers to Rieckher's and Hager's observations,* 
regarding reliable tests for the purity of this medicinal agent, but 
he objects to its employment unless it be in well formed separate 
crystals. Though as met with in commerce it is usually of 
good quality, the crystalline masses or imperfect fractions of 
crystals are unsightly in appearance and frequently possess a 
stinging odor, and readily absorb moisture ; qualities which are 
due to its insufficient purification on a large scale. The last 
traces of impurity cannot be removed by fusing and redistilling 
it, and its appearance is not improved by this operation. This 
purpose is effected solely by recrystallization. 

There is perhaps scarcely a liquid in which chloral hydrate is 
insoluble at ordinary temperature ; four parts of it dissolve 
gradually in one'part of water, the solution crystallizes at 0° 0., 
but not in well formed crystals. Alcohol and ether dissolve it 
to such an extent that it likewise does not crystallize well on 
evaporating these solvents ; absolute alcohol must be excluded 
because it combines with chloral. f 

Chloroform and benzole are well adapted for recrystallization, 
but the first is too dear and the last cannot be entirely removed 
from the crystals. The same holds good for oil of turpentine, 
from which most beautiful tables and laminae are obtained, if 
1 p. chloral hydrate is dissolved in from five to six parts of the 
oil at from 30 to 40° C, and the solution allowed to cool slowly. 
Fat oils, which dissolve it readily, are evidently not adapted for 
this purpose. From petroleum ether, which at a moderate heat 
dissolves much chloral hydrate, it crystallizes well on cooling, 
but too rapidly to admit of large prisms being obtained ; on a 
large scale, however, it may be of better service. 

Uniformly satisfactory results were obtained with bisulphide 
of carbon. 45 parts of it dissolve at 15 to 18° C. but 1 p. choral 
hydrate ; it precipitates ethereal and alcoholic solutions of the 

* Amer. Jour. Pharm., 1870, p. 238. f L. c. p., 239. 




latter. But at temperatures below the boiling of bisulphide of 
carbon, 4 to 5 p. of it are sufficient for dissolving 1 p. chloral 
hydrate. If allowed to cool slowly, beautiful crystals often an 
inch in length are obtained, easily collected, and readily freed 
from the last traces of the solvent by exposing them in thin 
layers to the air. Thus obtained, chloral hydrate possesses no 
acid reaction and does not attract moisture. The best prisms 
begin ^to fuse at 49° C, larger quantities at 53 to 54° C, the 
fused mass congealing again at 34°, or at 40° C. if a few crys- 
tals had remained unfused. Samples not well crystallized fuse 
at a lower temperature. The boiling point is 97*5° C. if the 
entire thermometer is surrounded by the vapors. 

Bisulphide of carbon is cheap. Some loss is unavoidable ; im- 
purities in the mother-liquor increase gradually to such an ex- 
tent that a rectification of the bisulphide over corrosive subli- 
mate becomes necessary. With the last portions of the solvent 
a little chloral hydrate evaporates from the crystals, but the loss 
from that source is insignificant, J grm. having lost but 3-8 per 
cent, in nine days. A draft of cold air, the addition of some 
petroleum ether, and the employment of the centrifugal machine 
will be of service when operating on a large scale. The price of 
chloral hydrate ought not to be raised in consequence of such 
purification.— iV'. Jahrh. f. Pharin., 1870, April, 200—204. 

J. M. M. 

By Julius Loewe. 

To determine whether benzoic acid exists free in benzoin, or 
whether it is generated by heating the resin, the author sought 
to answer the following four queries : 1. Does benzoic acid exist 
ready formed in benzoin ? 2. Is benzoic acid in the resin united 
with a base ? 3. Is benzoic acid formed through the influence 
of the air upon the fused resin ? 4. Is benzoic acid a product 
of decomposition of a body contained in the resin? 

A larger quantity of benzoin was intimately mixed. Three 
portions of it, each weighing 15 grm., were heated in the usual 
manner, in a dish covered with paper, one in contact with the 
air, one in a current- of hydrogen and the third in carbonic acid ; 



2*2, 2*5 and 2*4 grm. benzoic acid were obtained ; therefore, an 
oxidation of the resin to benzoic acid does not take place on 
fusion in atmospheric air. 

30 grm. of benzoin were dissolved in 95 per cent, of alcohol 
and the filtered solution mixed with an alcoholic solution of 
caustic soda. A red brown sediment had occurred after 48 
hours, which was well Avashed upon a filter with alcohol, dis- 
solved in water and decomposed by boiling with muriatic acid ; 
an amorphous precipitate separated, which, after filtering, yielded 
benzoic acid on being heated. If free benzoic acid had been 
contained in the resin, it would have entered the soda precipitate 
and been separated in crystals by the muriatic acid ; since, how- 
ever, it is obtained from the amorphous precipitate only by heat, 
the author concludes that benzoic acid as such was not present. 

The filtrate from the soda precipitate was distilled ; the amor- 
phous residue dissolved in water, yielded with muriatic acid, a 
resinous precipitate, giving a copious sublimate of benzoic acid, 
while the acid filtrate on concentration yielded only small quan- 
tities of crystalline benzoic acid. The author concludes from 
this experiment that at least a portion of benzoic acid does not 
exist ready formed in the resin. 

A portion of benzoin was dissolved in alcohol, the solution at 
the boiling point, precipitated with water, the alcohol distilled 
off, and the aqueous solution decanted from the sediment ; this 
was treated four times in the same manner, at last the alcohol 
was not distilled off, but was removed with the water. The 
resin thus purified, behaves towards soda and muriatic acid es- 
sentially like the crude benzoin. The aqueous, faintly alcoholic 
solutions did not yield crystals of benzoic acid on evaporation ; 
a small quantity of it, however was present, its crystallization 
being prevented by the presence of a resinous body. 

These results led the author to the conclusion that some free 
benzoic acid is present in the resin, but that the greater portion 
is generated on heating, from one of the proximate principles 
contained in benzoin. 

Of all the different apparatus recommended for the sublima- 
tion of benzoic acid, the author prefers that of Molir, but recom- 
mends a steady temperature of 170° C. A flat vessel of iron 
or copper is connected with a glass tube bent upwards, into 


which a thermometer is inserted, while the vessel is covered with, 
paper. The purest acid was obtained by mixing the resin with 
an equal weight of crude oil of vitriol free -from nitric acid ; this 
mixture, put into a leaden vessel, is placed into the iron or cop- 
per vessel and then slowly heated to the above temperature to 
prevent its foaming over. — Zeitsc]i7\ /. Cliemie 1870, loart 9, 
278. J. M. M. 

By Dr. H. Eager. 

There is a considerable difference between the fixed oil ex- 
pressed from the large sweet and from the smaller bitter almonds, 
which is readily shown by the elaidin test : the former oil con- 
geals more rapidly and almost completely ; while the latter con- 
geals about twelve hours later and the more imperfectly, the 
smaller the bitter almond has been. The column of elaidin in 
the test tube obtained from the oil of the sweet and large sized 
bitter almonds is whitish or yellowish, of the smaller bitter 
almonds more yellow or brownish and surrounded by one or two 
thin liquid layers, proving that this oil approaches the drying 
oils. Only about one-third of its bulk congeals if the oil is from 
the small Oporto almond. 

For medicinal purposes this difference between the almond 
oils is probably immaterial, since no distinction has heretofore 
been made between them. But for the last twenty years an 
almond oil is in the market which yields yellow or brown elaidin, 
surrounded by thickish liquid layers, and which, in Hamburg 
and other places, is prepared in large quantities from peach 
seeds, but sold as 01. amygd. optimum or verum. 

The author recommends the following test to distinguish true 
almond oil from the oil of peach and apricot seeds : equal volumes 
of the oil and 25 per cent, nitric acid are shaken together in a 
test tube ; an emulsion like mixture is obtained, which separates 
again on standing. All true almond oils yield a purely white mix- 
ture, and after many hours the separated oil is still white. On 
heating the mixture to 60° C. almond oil remains white or be- 
comes faintly yellowish white. 

The oils of peach and apricot seeds shaken with the nitric 



acid at once turn yellowish, the coloration increases and is in 
half an hour rather deep red yellow. Mixtures of almond and 
peach seed oil may be at first white, but after one-half to one 
hour will be more or less reddish yellow. 

Many other oils, for instance ground nut oil (Arachis) behave 
to nitric acid like almond oil. Such an adulteration is readily 
discovered by sulphuric acid. Upon a porcelain slab - 8 or 10 
drops of the oil are stirred together with 5 or 6 drops of strong 
sulphuric acid. Almond oil is colored yellow and retains that 
color for some minutes ; other oils, though often yellow at first, 
quickly turn green, greenish brown or brown. — Fharm. Central 
lialle, 1870, 217, 218. J. M. M. 

By E. C. A. BiLTZ, of Erfurt. 

The assertion of Dr. Hager (this Journal, page 319,) that 
chloroform prepared from pure chloral hydrate is not decom- 
posed by light and air, is not correct. This so-called normal 
chloroform is decomposed as readily as any other if it he abso- 
lutely free from alcohol. 

From J kilogramme of pure chloral hydrate I obtained 296 
grm. chloroform, sp. gr. 1*498 at 15° C. (the theoretical yield 
is 306 grm., sp. gr. 1*502) ; it was very pure, entirely indifferent 
to sulphuric acid, but still contained some alcohol, to remove 
which it had to be washed six times with water. It was then 
dehydrated and rectified, when it had the sp. gr. 1*5019 at 15° 
C, a boiling point of 62*27° C, and was entirely indifferent to 
iodide of potassium. Exposed in a half filled white vial to the 
daylight, it showed, after ten hours, a reddish tinge with solu- 
tion of iodjde of potassium..'^ On the evening of the second day 
strong decomposition of this solution, and so on as previously 
described by me.f 

This proves that chloroform prepared from chloral hydrate is 
prone to decomposition. How the stability of Hager's chloro- 
form agrees with its sp. gr. and boiling point I am unable to say; 
however, he might have satisfied himself by comparative experi- 

1 absolutely neutral iodide in 20 water, freshly prepared, 
t See Archiv der Pharmacie, 1868, June, 209. 



merits, that his tests for alcohol, in this case, are partly entirely 
useless, partly very difficult. Lieben's excellent test (iodoform) 
is the only one which, with the aid of the microscope, approaches 
mine* in delicacy ; all others indicate at best J per cent., while 
in our case J per cent, and even less is of importance, I do 
not doubt, therefore, that Hager's chloroform still contains such 
traces of alcohol, and that it will yet decompose in the course of 

I would again refer to my former paper on this subject, par- 
ticularly to the proof that the officinal chloroform does not con- 
tain sufficient alcohol to prevent its decomposition. The final 
sentence in Hager's paper (p. 319 of this Journal) must, there- 
fore, be rejected. As long as the officinal chloroform does not 
contain at least 2 to 3 per cent, of alcohol it must be kept and 
dispensed in black bottles, to guard against gradual decomposi- 
tion in the light. And this is not altered in the least by pre- 
paring the chloroform from chloral. Erfm^t, May 25, 1870. 
—Pharm. Zeitung., 1870, N. 45, p. 276. J. M. M. 

By Pkof. Charles A. Joy. 

In the year 1811, KirchhofF, a celebrated German chemist, 
discovered that it was possible to convert starch, by means of 
sulphuric acid, into sugar. Great expectations were founded 
upon the announcement of the discovery, as, in consequence of 
Continental wars and the English blockade, sugar had become 
a very dear article, and it was at first thought that an ample 
supply could be obtained in this way ; but everybody was destined 
to be grievously disappointed as soon as the subject was more 
thoroughly investigated, and it was found that the sugar thus 
produced was of a different character from that to be obtained 
from the cane and beet. Still, the discovery of Kirchhoff was 
of great importance and has led to many practical applications. 
It was soon found that glucose or grape sugar could be made in 

* 1 p. bichromate of potassa in 2000 water, mixed with one-eighth of its 
volume sulphuric acid. One volume of chloroform is well agitated with 
half a vol. of this mixture and set aside over night ; disappearance of the 
yellow color proves the presence of alcohol. 



several ways, and that it was always the product of the germina- 
tion of starch grains, and sometimes occurred already formed in 

It is probable that both cane and grape sugar are formed from 
the starch contained in the cellular tissues of the plant, cane 
sugar being formed first, and then grape sugar, if acids be 
present. Acidulous fruits contain only grape sugar, whereas 
cane sugar occurs in those that are free from stronger acids. 
The chief natural sources of the grape sugar are in the sap of 
the grapevine, in plums, cherries, figs, honey, in the liver and 
in diabetic urine ; but it would not be economical to prepare it 
from any of these sources. 

One of the latest methods for the preparation of grape sugar 
is the one proposed by Maubre, and is as follows : The mixture 
of dilute sulphuric acid and starch meal is boiled under pressure 
of six atmospheres. The necessary boilers are similar to those 
used for high pressure engines, and are lined with lead and pro- 
vided in the interior with a perforated lead tube for the passage 
of steam. The boiler is further furnished with safety valve, stop 
cocks; thermometers, &c. In the process of manufacture 56 
pounds of sulphuric acid of 66° B. are diluted with 5,600 pounds 
water, and heated to 212° F. A mixture of the same amount of 
acid and water is made in a separate wooden vessel, the heat of 
which is raised to 86° F. Into the second mixture 2,240 pounds 
of starch meal are well stirred and heated to 100° F. This is 
gradually added to the first mixture, and after heating with open 
valves for a few minutes to 212° F., the stop cocks are all closed 
and the heat raised to 320° F. and continued until all of the 
starch is converted into sugar, which requires from two to four 

The contents of the boiler are then run into a wooden tank 
and 168 pounds of pure chalk or carbonate of lime, previously 
stirred up with 500 pounds of water, is gradually added to neu- 
tralize the acid ; the gypsum is caught on a filter and the filtrate 
evaporated to 20° B., and afterward clarified by blood and bone 
black and again filtered. In this way the product is obtained 
pure and free from bitter and empyreumatic taste, and is well 
suited for any of the purposes to which grape sugar is adapted. 

Another way is to convert the starch into sugar by means of 



malt. For this purpose 10 to 12 pounds of barley malt are well 
stirred with 400 pounds of water, and to this are added 100 
pounds of starch, and the whole is heated to 158° F., and kept 
at that temperature for several hours, under constant agitation. 
At 158° F. the starch becomes pasty, the grains burst, and at 
first there are no signs of sugar, but in a quarter of an hour the 
liquid becomes more fluid and begins to have a sweetish taste. 
Great care must be observed to retain the heat at the same tem- 
perature, not to hiive it either higher or lower than above indi- 
cated, and to insure this several thermometers ought to be put 
in different parts of the apparatus. After six hours the liquor 
can be filtered and clarified, and evaporated to a syrup. The 
sugar prepared in this way always retains the taste of malt and 
is only adapted to use in breweries, where this property will not 
prove deleterious. 

Grape sugar, or glucose, can be prepared in open vessels by 
allowing a mixture of starch and water to flow gradually at a 
temperature of 130° F. into a vat containing water acidulated 
with one per cent, of sulphuric acid. By keeping it at a boiling 
point the starch is at once altered, without producing mucilage. 
The amount of starch taken is usually about one-half the weight 
of water employed. After all of the starch is added, boil for 
half an hour and decant. The sulphuric acid is neutralized by 
carbonate of lime as before and the liquid evaporated to the 
specific gravity of 1*28, and set aside to crystallize. The mo- 
lasses is allowed to drain off, and the sugar is dried at a gentle 
heat in a current of dry air. 

In the United States, especially in the West, it is more eco- 
nomical to make grape sugar from corn. There are several 
large establishments where this business is now extensively 
prosecuted. The corn is steeped in weak soda lye to separate 
the husk and soften the gluten. It is then ground wet and run 
through revolving sieves, by which the husks and gluten are 
separated. The starch flows through long ways and troughs, in 
which are slats against which the solid particles lodge, and thus 
separate from the water. The wash water is run into a large 
cistern, where it can be fermented into weak vinegar. The starch 
is put wet into a mash tub and treated with one per cent, sul- 
phuric acid in sufficient water for three to eight hours. Where 



it is intended to make sugar the whole of the starch is converted, 
but if syrup is sought then some part of dextrine is left un- 
altered. The acid liquor is neutralized with chalk as before, 
and evaporated in vacuum pans, and after the separation of the 
gypsum is run into barrels and allowed to crystallize. For 
syrup a certain percentage of dextrine is left in the liquid un- 
converted, which helps to keep it from crystallizing, and in the 
manufacture of syrup special care must be observed to neutralize 
all of the acids. The sugar is sometimes cast into blocks six 
inches square and dried on plaster plates, in a current of dry 
air, as hot air would be apt to discolor it. It has been found 
that glucose can be made from cellulose as well as from starch, 
but the process is too expensive for practice ; it is, however, in- 
teresting from a scientific point of view, and ought to be men- 
tioned in this connection. 

Two parts of clean linen shreds are gradually added to three 
parts of sulphuric acid, and they are allowed to stand twenty- 
four hours ; the whole is then largely diluted, and the sulphuric 
acid neutralized by carbonate of lime or carbonate of baryta. 
In a similar manner any other kind of cellular tissue, as cotton, 
wood shavings, paper, etc., can be converted into grape sugar. 

It is a singular fact that, although we can prepare grape sugar 
from cane by the action of acids, no way is at present known 
by which glucose can be re-converted into sucrose. It would be 
a discovery of great importance if we could make cane sugar 
from glucose, as in that event common sugar could be prepared 
from a great variety of refuse matters, and would be largely re- 
duced in price. 

There was a time when much grape sugar was manufactured 
in England clandestinely, for the purpose of adulterating Mus- 
covado sugar, but this illegitimate business was destroyed as soon 
as the tariff on sugar was reduced. The price of cane sugar 
must be very high before manufacturers can afford to make grape 
sugar for its adulteration. 

The starch of potatoes can be converted into glucose by di- 
gesting for a few hours with parings of the potato. This opera- 
tion is largely practised by German farmers in the preparation 
of food for fattening hogs. The starch is rendered more di- 
gestible in this way, and from the glucose some of the larger 



proprietors manufacture alcohol, for which they obtain a high 

An excellent article of starch sugar can be prepared from In- 
dian corn, which will yield alcohol one-eighth cheaper and quite 
as pure as that from cane sugar. As, by a recent decision of 
our courts, the manufacturers of alcohol and vinegar from this 
source are not distillers within the meaning of the tax levy, the 
business is not hampered by licenses, inspections, or stamp 
duties, and has thus a great advantage over ordinary distilleries. 

In some parts of Europe large quantities of grape sugar are 
used to add to wine, but in this country it is not so much the 
wine growers as the brewers who make such an extensive use of 
it as to give rise to its regular importation. This can hardly 
be justified excepting in times when the price of barley is very 

We find in the Zymoteclmic Ngivs of St. Louis, an interesting 
article on the uses of starch sugar in the manufacture of beer, 
from which we quote the following paragraphs: 

" Barley contains on an average 57 per cent, of starch and cognate 
substances. These pass into the wort, partly as sugar, partly in the shape 
of dextrine (gum). The relative proportions of these ingredients vary 
in accordance with the method of brewing, but experience teaches that, 
on an average, one bushel of barley yields about 12 pounds of sugar and 
15 pounds of dextrine. A portion of the latter substance is further trans- 
formed into sugar during fermentation, so that a bushel of barley repre- 
sents, on an average, 16 pounds of sugar and 11 pounds of dextrine (gum). 

"Both dextrine (gum) and sugar are equally essential to the brewing 
process. The latter furnishes the alcohol, without which no beverage 
can be called spirituous ; while the former constitutes almost the entire 
extractive matter, or body of the beer, which is one of the chief distin- 
guishing features between beer and wine. Now it is true that all (com- 
mercial) starch sugar contains a certain amount of dextrine — the more, 
the poorer the quality ; but this portion would be insufficient in case a 
good article was used, while in the contrary case it would be paid for at 
an extravagant rate. 

"Imported potato sugar of good quality, containing some 15 per cent, 
of dextrine (gum), costs about 12 cents per pound at New York. Maize 
sugar of equal purity can be furnished at 8 cents per pound. Twenty 
pounds of either article, costing respectively, $2 40 and $1 60, would 
yield 16 pounds of fermentable sugar and 3 pounds of dextrine (gum) 
while a bushel of barley will not only yield 16 pounds of sugar, but 11 
pounds of dextrine or gum besides. Thus starch sugar can be added to 
beer wort only in small quantities, unless when it is desired to impart a 



vinous character to the beer. When the latter object is not in view the 
best substitute for barley will always be found in maize or some other 
cheap grain. 

" Not so in the manufacture of wine. For this purpose, good starch 
sugar, containing not exceeding 15 per cent, of dextrine, is decidedly 
preferable to cane sugar. A pound of the latter of the quality suitable 
for wine manufacture, costs at least 15 cent; whereas, as just stated, 
good starch sugar from maize can be sold at 8 cents. Now as 5 lbs. of 
starch sugar are equivalent to 4 lbs, of cane sugar as regards their yield 
of alcohol, the balance is altogether in favor of maize sugar, to wit : 

4 lbs. cane sugar at 15 cents . . . .60 cents. 

5 lbs. grape sugar at 8 cents . . . .40 cents. 

" The 15 per cent, of dextrine (gum) contained in the maize sugar will 
(according to the usual proportion of sugar added to must) increase the 
amount of ' extract ' in wine only by a few per cent., and will tend to give 
it the * monthly ' taste (body) which in meager wines, already fermented, 
is sought to be produced by the addition of glycerine. 

" Enormous quantities of cane sugar are already Ijeing consumed in the 
wine manufacture in this country; so that even as a consideration of na- 
tional economy it is highly important to supply in maize sugar a partial 
substitute for imported cane sugar." 

In France there is a use for grape sugar arising from the fact 
that the sugar manufacturers do not prepare molasses ready for 
the market as they do in this country. The crude molasses is 
bought up by second parties and the grape sugar is used very 
largely by them to extend it and give it body. An alkaline so- 
lution of grape sugar is converted by heat into a dark brown 
body, called melassic acid. This acid has a powerful affinity for 
oxygen, and reduces the Cu to Cu 2 0. Some of the tests for 
grape sugar are founded upon this re-action. One of them, 
known as Fehling's test, is prepared as follows : A standard 
copper solution is made from 1 oz. crystallized sulphate of cop- 
per, 3 ozs. cream of tartar, IJ ozs. pure carbonate of potash, 14 
or 16 ozs. of a solution of caustic soda, (sp. gr. 1.12,) and water 
until the solution measures 15,160 water grains; 200 measured 
grains of this solution contain a quantity of copper that would 
be reduced by 1 grain of sugar, each atom of sugar reducing 10 
atoms of the black oxide of copper to the state of suboxide. 
Cane sugar is converted into grape by boiling with weak sul- 
phuric acid, and it can then be easily tested by the standard so- 
lution. It sometimes becomes necessary to test for sugar in 
diabetic urine ; this is accomplished in various ways. One of 



them, -called Tromraers' test, is as follows : Add caustic potash, 
and filter if necessary, then dilute solution of sulphate of copper 
in small quantities ; the precipitate that first forms dissolves on 
stirring, and the solution becomes azure blue, but after standing, 
a fawn colored precipitate of suboxide of copper will be formed. 
The conditions and precautions to be observed are fully given in 
medical vforks and need not be repeated here. The property of 
grape sugar to reduce metallic salts is made use of /or the prepa- 
ration of silver mirrors. Add to the nitrate of silver a few drops 
of ammonia and then some grape sugar, and the metal will be 

Chloride of silver can also be reduced by grape sugar, and this 
method affords a way for reclaiming photographic wastes, and of 
preparing pure metallic silver. Take 14 parts of well washed 
and still moist chloride of silver, 24 parts of caustic soda, sp. gr. 
1-333, llj parts ammonia, sp. gr. 0-925 ; to this add, with con- 
stant agitation in a flask, 7|- parts pure honey, or 9J parts grape 
sugar syrup, and let the mixture stand in a warm place until 
sulphuretted hydrogen affords no sign of silver. Decant and 
wash out all traces of chlorine. The reduced silver can then be 
dried and melted in a crucible. 

Platinum black, finely divided metallic platinum, can be ob- 
tained from the chloride by adding carbonate of soda in excess, 
and heating the solution for ten minutes. The precipitate can 
be collected in a filter, and then well washed and dried. 

Grape sugar crystallizes in warty, cauliflower concretions 
composed of hard transparent cubes. It is less soluble in water 
than cane sugar, but more soluble in alcohol. Two and a half 
parts of glucose are required to produce the same sweetening 
effect as one part of cane sugar. Sulphuric acid does not de- 
compose it, but forms a definite acid with it, called sulpho sac- 
charic acid. It forms a double salt with common salt. 


It also forms definite but unstable combinations with the al- 
kaline bases. 

From the foregoing it will be apparent that grape sugar can 
be easily and cheaply prepared, and that it is capable of many 
important uses in the arts if it could be manufactured in ade- 
quate quantity and at a reasonable rate. — Journ. of Applied 
Chemistry, New York, June, lS10. 



By R. Rother. 

One of the most serious imperfections of the Pharmacopoeia 
IS its process for the ointment of mercuric nitrate. This is a 
failure in every respect, the nomenclature not excepted. The 
ever-recurring difficulties that the officinal formula engenders 
have caused the accumulation of abundant literature designed to 
obviate or remove some of these inherent obstacles. But even 
the enumeration of all the known processes has been of no avail. 
Most of the modifications that have been suggested are based 
upon the officinal process itself, and consist mainly of alterations 
in the proportion of the ingredients or their quality. But the 
officinal process is in the full sense of the term irrational ; like- 
wise must be any other which grounds itself upon this. There- 
fore the solution of this profound problem cannot be discovered 
in the components of the formula, but must be sought for in the 
operation alone. A review of all the known facts connected 
with the history of this preparation reveals as follows ; Firstly, 
since the value of this combination is generally recognized, the 
title should be distinctive of its character. In this regard the 
Pharmacopoeia completely fails. If the solution of the metal is 
officinally effected in contact with the acid at the ordinary tem- 
perature, it is positively certain that both mercuric and mer- 
curous nitrate form, even in the large surplus of acid shown by 
the precipitation of mercurous chloride in the presence of chlor- 
hydric acid, consequently the ointment will receive both nitrates 
from the beginning. Evidently, the lower the temperature at 
which the solution is made the greater will be the proportion of 
mercurous nitrate, in the same ratio the remaining acid, and 
through it the more powerful the oxidation of the fats. But the 
intenser the reaction the more probable will be the reduction of 
the mercurial salts, and especially the mercurous nitrate, which 
is eminently dissimilar in its effects and molecular constitution 
to the mercuric salt. The following equations will sufficiently 
illustrate the above : 

6Hg + 8(N03lI)-3(N03),Hg,)+N A+40H, 



When these mercurial solutions come in contact with the heated 
glycerides, the complicated reaction which immediately ensues 
commences with two distinct phases. One of these is charac- 
teristic only for the so-called non-drying oils ; the other is pretty 
general with all. The first of these is determined by the cata- 
lytic action of the nitrogen tetroxide (which is always present in 
the mercurial solution prepared without heat, and should it not 
be present, as would be the case by employing a solution con- 
taining the mercuric nitrate only, it wouM of course simulta- 
neously result from the mutual decomposition of the nitric acid 
and the fats), and consists in the transformation of the liquid 
triolein into its white concrete and crystalline isomere elaidin. 
But the second, which is characterized by the violent evolution 
of volatile products, consists, according to the prolongation of 
the reaction or its intensity, favored by external causes, and the 
relative quantity of nitric acid, of the destruction of part of the 
oleic, palmitic and stearic acid contained in the glycerides that 
are usually employed. 

But the complete dissociation of the original compounds is 
effected with difficulty. Pure lard, heated with 8 and 10 times 
the quantity of strong nitric acid until the latter w"as dissipated, 
still was attacked by a fresh portion. In this case, all of the 9 
volatile acids of the series GJl^'fi-z^ from acetic to capric inclu- 
sive, are produced together with fixed acids of the series GJI^^ — - 
2O4, of which suberic and succinic acid are more abundantly pro- 
duced from glycerides containing chiefly palmitin. A peculiar 
and undetermined substance is invariably generated in quantity, 
and resists the destructive action of the nitric acid with remark- 
able obstinacy. This is an intensely yellow oil, which saponifies 
with potassium hydrate, with the formation of a deep red color; 
and it is this compound to which the ointment of mercurial ni- 
trate owes its yellow color. It is supposed that the discoloration 
of the officinal ointment occurs more particularly when the 
oxidation of the fatty matter has not been sufficient, and that 
subsequently the avidity of these bodies robs the mercurial salts 
of their oxygen and reduces them to the metallic state ; but in 
the officinal ointment the greater part of the mercury no longer 
exists as normal nitrate, but chiefly as basic nitrate and raer- 



curous or mercuric salts of some of the fattj acids either origin- 
ally existing in the fat or as products of its decomposition. 
This is amply evidenced by employing a drying oil, as the oils of 
cotton or flaxseed, in the preparation of the ointment, which of 
course, as will be seen, are entirely inadmissible for this pur- 
pose. If flaxseed oil, for instance, is heated with, nitric acid 
alone, even until the latter is entirely consumed, no separation 
will take place ; but if to the heated oil the mercurial solution be 
added, a greenish-yellow agglutinated mass immediately sepa- 
rates, which adheres to the bottom of the vessel and the stirrer 
too tenaciously to admit of distribution, and moreover hardens 
on cooling to the consistence of lead plaster. Strong cold nitric 
acid has no apparent action on this substance ; neither have oil 
of turpentine, alcohol, ether and carbon disulphide, when repeat- 
edly treated with these solvents in succession ; but chloroform 
dissolves the greater part of it, leaving a grayish, light, floccu- 
lent deposit, which agglutinates on the addition of alcohol. Cold 
strong nitric acid attacks this powerfully, forming a green solu- 
tion containing abundance of mercuric oxide. At the same time- 
a yellow, oily substance separates, which completely dissolves- 
in chloroform — also in ether, but slowly and imperfectly in air 
cohol — to an intense yellow color, and saponifies with potassium 
hydrate to a deep red col(fi\ The original resinous substance^ 
as it separates from the supernatant oily liquid, is but faiatly 
acted on by cold strong nitric acid ; but the same acid when hot 
dissolves all but a yellow oil which separates from the solution.;^, 
and contains mercury in abundance, as the black precipitate 
with ammonium sulphide indicates. The first chloroformic so- 
lution of the resinous deposit when evaporated leaves a reddish- 
yellow, varnish-like residue, which is insoluble in^water, but 
readily saponifies with potassium hydrate to a red solution, whilst 
a small quantity of mercurous oxide at the same time separates. 
By the addition of nitric acid to a solution of this soap, a yellow 
precipitate again occurs. 

The separation of this resinous deposit at the very outset of 
the operation goes to sliow how easily the mercurial nitrates are 
reduced by heat, or, more particularly, by the combined influ- 
ence of temperature and the reducing property of the organic 



substances, even in the presence of a large excess of free nitric 
acid, which seems to indicate, in this instance at least, that the 
replacement of the hydrogen atom of the acid molecule through 
the mercurial atom renders it more unstable in the presence of 
organic matter, and therefore a more powerful oxidizer. 

The evolution of nitrogen dioxide during the solution of the 
resinous remnant insoluble in chloroform would also indicate 
that the body contained either metallic mercury or the suboxide. 
This supports the supposition that the mercurous compounds are 
less stable than the mercuric under similar circumstances. It 
also affords incontrovertible evidence that in the officinal oint- 
ment the smallest portion of the mercury exists as nitrate, and 
that the greater portion can be present in an indefinite variety 
of forms. Therefore, the only form in which the metal should 
be combined is as mercuric nitrate, and the title should designate 
it accordingly. 

Secondly — A portion of the fatty substance which the formula 
demands cannot be obtained unless the pharmaceutist prepares 
it himself, because an officinal neat's foot oil does not exist in 
the market, but a rank and disgusting semi-fluid grease, which 
possesses none of the officinal characteristics. But pure lard 
can always be readily obtained, and, since it furnishes an ex- 
cellent ointment, should invariably be used. 

Thirdly — The manner of executing the officinal operation is 
the very embodiment of failure. In this process it is of the 
utmost necessity to employ vessels of immense proportionate 
size. It is a point of great importance to retain the tempera- 
ture of the heated fats within certain limits, which is an exceed- 
ingly difficult office to perform after a violent reaction has set 
in ; and even with all these precautions the ointment may over- 
flow or its color be impaired from reduction of the metal by too 
great a heat. The production of a good ointment by this pro- 
cess is, therefore, a matter of chance, and depends upon circum- 
stances that seem rather the good luck of the operator than a 
well-defined pharmaceutical process. 

Now all these difficulties can be readily overcome by an 
entire change in the operation itself, regardless of the compo- 
.nent elements of the formula. The new process rests upon a 



scientific basis whose characteristic feature pervades it in every 
detail, and which must therefore invariably yield a uniform and 
definite result. Two parallel operations, separate and distinct, 
unite their perfect results to one complete and unchangeable 
whole. The formation of mercuric nitrate is effected with the 
requisite quantity of nitric acid, and the remainder is completely 
consumed in the oxidation of the fats. This insures the ultimate 
existence of but one compound of mercury in the finished pro- 
duct, and that is, as the title implies, the mercuric nitrate. It 
likewise admits of the oxidation of the fatty matter to the utmost 
capacity of all the available nitric acid, so that when the last 
vestige of this has disappeared the mercurial solution can be 
mixed with the nearly-cooled product without causing any far- 
ther reaction. A very decided advantage of this process is that 
the enormously large vessels can be dispensed with. The nitric 
acid is added to the melted fat, and the heat continued until 
brisk ebullition sets in. This occurs mainly in the centre of the 
mixture, and without frothing. It is, however, of the utmost 
necessity not to disturb the liquids by stirring. If the reaction 
becomes too violent, the mixture must be removed a short time 
from the fire ; and if the action slackens too much, it must be 
replaced. Finally, when all the nitric acid has been decomposed, 
the temperature can be considerably raised without causing any 
farther effervescence. The boiling then is analogous to the 
boiling of fatty matters in general. 

From the foregoing results the following formula is deduced : 
Take of Mercury . . . • li troyounces. 
Nitric Acid, sp. gr. 1-42, . SJ " 
Lard (pure) . . . 16J " 
Dissolve the mercury in 900 grains of the nitric acid, with the 
aid of heat, and keep the solution gently warm to prevent crys- 
tallization before it is used. Melt the lard in a suitable vessel, 
with a moderate heat ; then add the remainder of the nitric acid, 
and continue the heat, without stirring the mixture, as long as 
moderate effervescence continues ; but if this becomes too violent, 
remove the mixture from the fire, and only replace it when the 
action slackens too much. Finally, when effervescence ceases 
and the liquid only boils even under an increased heat, remove 



the mixture from the fire altogether ; and when it begins to 
stiffen, add the mercurial solution, and mix thoroughly. — The 
Pharmacist^ Chicago, July, 1870. 

From C. B. Clarke, Esq., M.A., Officiating Superintendent, Botanic 
Garden, and in charge of Cinchona cultivation in Bengal^ to the Secre- 
tary to the Government of Bengal, — [No. 188, dated Botanic Garden, 
Calcutta, the 2m April, 1870). 

Sir, — I beg leave to submit the annual report on the cultiva- 
tion of Cinchona in Bengal for the year ending 31st March, 

2. The three species of cinchona of which the cultivation has 
been extended during the year are C. sueciruhra, 0. officinalis, 
and C. calisaya. 

The number of plants of these species in permanent planta- 
tions were as under : — 

C. succiruhra. 

C. officinalis. 

C. calisaya. 

March 31, 1869 




March 31, 1870 








3. The increase of permanent plantation of C. succiruhra and 
C. calisaya has been made about Rishap at an elevation of 2500 
feet ; the increase of 0. officinalis at Rungbee at an elevation of 
about 4500 feet. 

4. The average growth for the year of the ten measured plants 
of C. succiruhra planted in March, 1867, at Rishap, has been 51 
inches, which fairly represents the satisfactory general growth 
of the C. succiruhra plantations. 

5. The average growth for the year of the ten measured plants 
of 0. officinalis planted in October, 1864, at Rungbee, has been 
12 inches, which fairly represents the unsatisfactory general 
growth of the C. officinalis plantations. 



6. The average growth for the year of the ten measured plants 
of C. calisaya planted in June, 1867, at Rishap, has been 52 
inches, which represents the average growth of all the plants in 
the plantation catalogued as Q. calisaya. But several important 
varieties are included under the name C. calisaya^ and the tree 
variety raised by seed in February, 1867, and planted out in 
June, 1867, has attained a height of 12 feet in October, 1869, 
and a tree of this age, lately cut down, has produced two pounds 
of dry bark. 

7. As fully explained by Dr. T. Anderson in his annual cin- 
chona report in Bengal for the year ending 31st March, 1868, 
the exceeding steepness of the hills, combined with the large 
rainfall, prevents any tilth on these cinchona plantations. The 
grass and low jungle having been cut close, the young cinchona 
plants are planted out in the permanent plantations. The weeds 
having been merely headed down, not eradicated, grow with 
great strength in a moist and warm climate, and continual scour- 
ing of the young plantations is necessary. This is the chief ex- 
pense under this system of cultivation. 

8. C. succirubra and 0, calisaya (tree variety) grow so freely, 
that by the third year the young trees in the plantations are all 
locked ; they then crush the jungle beneath them, and can take 
care of themselves, and little further expense upon them is called 

9. But C. officinalis shows no inclination to become a tree at 
these plantations ; it remains a shrub with very scanty foliage, 
and even on the plantations which are five years old, there con- 
tinues the same expenditure in scouring. 

10. C. succirubra and C. calisaya are planted about 1200 to 
the acre ; C. officinalis about 4000 to the acre. 

11. In the fifth year of growth in permanent plantation an 
acre of C. officinalis carries less than one-fourth the bark carried 
by an acre of C. succirubra, and costs more than four times as 
much annual expenditure. Moreover, the C. officinalis then ap- 
pears disinclined to grow much larger, whereas (7. succirubra 
will clearly grow into a considerable tree. 

12. J calculate that at present it has not been discovered how 
to grow 0. officinalis to economic profit at Rungbee. I there- 



fore stopped its extension in September last, though I was aware 
of the high quality of the grey bark. The present quantity is 
large for an experiment ; and, as an experiment, a few acres of 
(J. officinalis were planted in September last at a somewhat 
higher level (5000 feet) than the main plantation. Also, in all 
the C. officinalis plantations below the level of 4000 feet (above 
which level C. succiruhra does not thrive), C. succiriihra has been 
planted between the ranks of C. officinalis, and will, doubtless, 
soon overgrow it. 

13. The propagation and extension of C. calisaya has been 
pushed as fast as possible. There is no difficulty in multiplying 
(7. succiruhra and C. officinalis by cuttings, but at Rishap there 
is found the greatest difficulty and uncertainty in multiplying C. 
calisaya by cuttings. Herr von Gorkom, the Director of the 
Dutch Government cinchona cultivation in Java, informs me 
that there the same difficulty with C. calisaya is found ; but, on 
the other hand, Mr. M'lvor, in the drier climate of the Nilgher- 
ries, says cuttings strike with perfect success. 

14. Her von Gorkom has sent me on several occasions most 
valuable packets of C. calisaya seed, which germinated excellent- 
ly; but if it could be discovered how to grow C. calisaya by cut- 
tings, I should greatly prefer that method, as by it I am sure of 
getting exactly the variety which I wish to propagate. Mr. 
M'lvor is of opinion, that not merely do the varieties cross free- 
ly, but that many hybrids are formed from different species of 

15. The most valuable bark known in the European market is 
the C. calisaya bark ; this species grows admirably at Rishap, 
and, during the past year, propagation has been almost entirely 
confined to it. In growing for profit, I believe it will ultimately 
be found advisible to grow one or two species only on these 
plantations ; and that it is best to discard a species at once 
which is clearly inferior with us to C. calisaya and 0. succiruhra. 

16. I have lately brought from the Nilgherries two new kinds 
of cinchona, one provisionally named C. mirahilis, of Mr. 
Broughton, the other C. pitayo. In C. mirahilis the bark con- 
tains the astonishing quantity of 13J per cent, of quinine alka- 
loid, and more than 9 per cent, of crystallizable quinine. (7. 



pitayo is a rich bark from Peru, a very high-level species, said 
to be found growing through the snow. 

17. During the year both C. sueciruhra and C. officinalis 
ripened seeds ; 5f ounces of the former and 5J ounces of the 
latter were distributed. One ounce of seed will raise nearly 
50,000 plants. 

18. There were distributed from Rungbee during the past 
financial year cinchona plants as under : — 

C. sueci- 

C. cali- 

C. offici- 

Mr. Werniche, Kursiong . . 
Dr. Jameson, Saharunpore . 
Mr. Robson, Tukvar .... 
Col. Strutt, Kangra Valley. 





Total . . . 




19. The amount of propagation having been greatly reduced, 
a considerable number of the old frames and glass were sold. 
The receipts for the past year of the cinchona plantation paid 
into the Darjeeling treasury were as under : 

Rs. As. P. 

Rent from land let . . . . 1130 
Price of a wardian case . . . 10 

Sale of cinchona plants . . . 156 4 
Sale of old glass .... 187 8 

Total . . 1483 12 

20. The total expenditure for the year on the Sikhim cinchona 
cultivation was Rs. 50,224, being Rs. 18,642 less than the esti- 
mate, and Rs. 18,040 less than that of the preceding year. 

21. The C. sueciruhra trees stand 6 feet by 6 in the planta- 
tions, and, as an experiment in January last, a small portion of 
the denser plantation was thinned by cutting down three trees 
out of every four. This was found to produce 300 lbs. of dried 
bark, worth about Rs. 250 per acre. 


22. At the same time a considerable portion of the more ad- 
vanced trees were pruned by the removal of the lower branches. 
There was stored from the thinnings and prunings in all 2400 
lbs. of dried bark. 

23. The only private plantation in Sikhim, which (so far as I 
know) is extending cinchona planting on a considerable scale, is 
that of Mr. Lloyd and Colonel Angus, known as the Darjeeling 
Cinchona Association, and which occupies the north side of the 
Rungbee valley. This Association has now about 500 acres of 
permanent plantation of C. succirubra, and has cut a considera- 
ble quantity of the three-year-old bark during the late cold 
weather, and sold it in the London market. 

24. The Government cinchona plantations at Nunklow, in the 
Khasi Hills, was formed for the supply of cinchona plants to the 
planters in Assam and Cachar. Seed is now easily transmitted, 
and I believe the discontinuance of the plantation at Nunklow 
has been decided upon by Government. 

Number and distribution of Cinclioria plants in the Government 
plantations near Darjeeling on the Ifarch, 1870. 


Name of species 
of cinchona. 

Number in permanent 

Number of stock plants for 

Number of seedlings or 
rooted cuttings in nur- 
sery beds for permanent 

Number of rooted plants 
in cutting beds. 

Number of cuttings made 
during the month. 

' Total number of plants, 
cuttings, and seedlings. 


G. succirubra 







C. calisnya 







C. mtcrantha 







C. officinalis, 

and varieties. 







C pahudiana 










379 325 




C. B. Clarke, 

Officiating Superintendent, Botanic Garden, and in charge of cinchona 

cultivation in Bengal. 
— London Pharm. Journ. Aug. 6, 1870. 



By W. H. Chandler. 

To Scheele is the world indebted for the first intimation of 
the elementary existence of fluorine and chlorine, he having in 
1771 referred the action of sulphuric acid upon fluor-spar to the 
freeing of a distinct acid from the mineral, though whether fluo- 
rine has, even up to the present day, been isolated, is a matter 
of great doubt. In 1774 the same chemist isolated chlorine. 
In 1811 Courtois separated iodine from the waste liquor from 
the manufacture of soda ash from sea-weed, followed by the dis- 
covery of bromine in the bittern of sea-water by Balard in 1826. 
The isolation of these four closely-allied elements from their 
compounds is thus included in a century, and the application of 
them to economical purposes, to any extent, was accomplished 
since the beginning of the present century. Their close relation- 
ship, their physical properties, and their chemical affinities, 
which are nearly in an inverse proportion to their chemical equi- 
valents, induce one to the supposition that they are modifications 
of the same element. 

The isolation of chlorine, bromine, and iodine from their com- 
pounds with the alkalies, is accomplished Avith equal facility. But 
the abundant store of the former in the enormous deposits of salt 
throughout the world and in solution in the ocean and inland 
seas, forms a striking contrast to the rarity of the two latter 
halogens. In combination with silver, bromine and iodine are 
found in some rare ores in Mexico and South America. Chatin 
claims to have detected iodine in rain-water, though in very 
minute quantities, and even in the atmosphere. In sea-water 
traces of it have been uniformly detected, though not in quanti- 
ties sufficient for quantitative estimation. Bromine exists in 
slightly larger quantities, and, associated Avith iodine and chlo- 
rine, is found in the ocean and inland seas, the various mineral 
and saline springs, and salt deposits throughout the world. 

According to Von Bibra, the amount of bromine in the Atlan- 
tic O.cean, in one United States gallon, is 24 grns. ; in the Dead 
Sea, examined by Ilerapath, 121*5 grns. ; in the dried residue of 
the Mediterranean, 1*15 per cent. ; in the mineral spring of 



Kreushnach, Ure found 10-8 grns. ; in Kissengen water, deter- 
mined bj Kastner, 044 grns. ; at Tenbury, in Worcestershire, 
examined by Dr. Ure, as high as 12*5 grns. ; and at Arnstadt, 
according to Hartung, 13-6 grns. Iodine occurs in far less 
quantities, from mere traces to 2*2 grns. per gallon, this latter 
quantity being found in the iodine spring at Halle. 

In the United States, both bromine and iodine have been 
detected in the various saline and mineral springs. Iodine was 
first detected in this country, in the Saratoga Spring waters, by 
Drs. Usher and Steel, in 1830, and bromine in the same waters 
by Dr. A. A. Hayes, and in the salines of Onondaga by Prof. B. 
Silliman, in the same year. The quantity of bromine in the 
spring waters of Saratoga county, determined by Prof. Chand- 
ler, reaches 3*63 grns. per gallon in the water of one of the 
Artesian wells, the largest amount of iodine found being 0*2 
grn. ; but in this country, as in Europe, it is in the salines that 
the quantity of these substances becomes of economical impor- 
tance, and in a brine of the Saginaw valley. Dr. Chilton found 
7*65 grns. of bromine; at Tarentum, Pa., 6 grns. bromine and 
4 grns. iodine were reported by Slieren; in the Salina brine 
analyzed by Prof. Goessmann, however, only 1'36 grns. of bro- 
mine per gallon are reported. 

Besides these various sources, iodine has been detected in the 
soda deposits of Peru, in the ashes of sponges, and in the ashes 
of the Spanish barilla plants. Cod-liver oil is said to owe some 
of its medicinal properties to a trace of iodine. Though the 
distribution of bromine and iodine is thus very general, yet 
owing to their existence in such comparatively minute quantities, 
the sources of our commercial supply are much more restricted. 

Up to the beginning of this century the alkalies of commerce 
were derived from the ashes of plants, and the burning of sea- 
weeds was an important industry, especially in Great Britain 
and Ireland. 

The amount of ashes of sea-weed, the so-called kelp, reached 
its maximum production in 1800, when 20,000 tons were collected. 
To produce this, 400,000 tons of wet weed were burned. From 
this time, owing to the removal of the import duty and to the 
introduction of the manufacture of soda ash from common salt, 



the trade declined. But the discovery of iodine in the mother 
liquors of kelp salts, somewhat revived the manufacture, — and 
it is to this source alone that the total supply of iodine in com- 
merce is due. The high price stimulated the business, and in 
this country, in a few places in New England, iodine factories 
were established. These latter, however, were soon abandoned, 
the weed upon our coast being of poor quality. The process of 
separating the iodine is exceedingly simple, being nearly analo- 
gous to that for the isolation of chlorine. The ashes are leached 
with water, and the various crystallizable salts of potash and 
soda are separated by concentration. Carbonates, sulphates, and 
chlorides of potash and soda are thus removed, leaving in solu- 
tion sulphite, hyposulphite, and some carbonate of soda, together 
with the iodides and bromides. By the addition of sulphuric acid 
the first three salts are decomposed, and the sulphate of soda 
produced is removed by crystallization. The concentrated 
mother-liquor is acidulated with sulphuric acid, and after the 
addition of binoxide of manganese, the iodine and bromine dis- 
tilled off. The reaction may be represented thus : 


The bromine of commerce was derived mostly from salines 
until the salt mines of Stassfurt were opened ; the Schoenebeck 
salt springs, near Magdeburg, producing the greater part of the 
supply for Germany. The method of manufacture is similar to 
that followed in the separation of iodine. 

Upon opening the mines of Stassfurt, bromine was found in 
the mother-liquors in considerable quantities, and at present the 
principal part of the European product is derived from this 
source. As high as 300 grns. per gallon has been obtained 
from these mother-liquors. Although but two or three of the 
manufactories at this place have economized this substance, the 
price of bromine has greatly decreased during the last five years. 
This decrease has been hastened by the large production